Gold Fields and EDL power up 4MW of PV at Western Australia mine

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
The development at Agnew. Credit: the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

A hybrid plant developed by EDL that comprises 4MW of solar and 19MW of gas and diesel was fired up at a Gold Fields mine in Western Australia on Wednesday.

The plant is the first phase of an ambitious AU$112 million (US$76 million) development at the gold operation that will ultimately mix wind, solar, storage and fossil fuel generation.

Renewables are ultimately expected to cover at least 50% of the mine’s power requirements, although the project's backers say load shedding, renewables forecasting and load control management could increase that share.

The next stage of the project, already under construction, will see the roll-out of an additional 18MW of wind generation, a 13MW battery storage system and an advanced microgrid control system. Development is expected to complete by mid-2020.

EDL, which is contracted to design, construct and own the microgrid, has signed an agreement with Gold Fields for 10 years. The power producer hired the Australian arm of German renewables developer Juwi to develop the project’s single-axis tracking PV plant earlier this year.

Stuart Matthews, the executive vice president of Australasia for Gold Fields said on Wednesday in a prepared statement that he hoped the project would set a precedent. “We are hopeful that this will also enable other companies to consider the options for decarbonising their operations,” he said.

The Australian government contributed AU$13.5 million (US$9.1 million) in recoupable finance to the project through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

This is not Gold Fields' first foray into solar power. Earlier this year, the firm signed a contract with British power generation equipment provider Aggreko to build and operate an 8MWp/2MW hybrid solar-thermal-battery storage system at its Granny Smith operation in Western Australia.

Other miners on the Australian market are turning to clean energy. Oz Minerals said in August it would consider renewables at its forthcoming West Musgrave nickel-copper operation in Western Australia, just months after announcing that it would trial a wind-solar-storage plant at its Carrapateena copper-gold mine in South Australia.

Read Next

June 18, 2021
Horizon Power and PXiSE Energy Solutions have successfully powered the Australian town of Onslow with completely renewable energy, demonstrating the potential of microgrid technology
June 10, 2021
Queensland will invest AU$2 billion (US$1.55 billion) on renewables and hydrogen jobs to support the Australian state’s economic recovery from COVID-19 and help it deliver on its 50% clean energy target by 2030.
June 8, 2021
Solar PV and wind will continue to be the cheapest sources of new electricity generation capacity in Australia, even when integration costs are included, according to new research from the country’s science agency, CSIRO, and the Australian Energy Market Operator.
June 7, 2021
New Energy Solar has secured a deal to sell two PV projects in New South Wales for AU$288 million (US$223 million), marking the solar investor’s exit from Australia.
June 3, 2021
The New South Wales government has launched a registration of interest process for Australia’s largest renewable energy zone (REZ), which is expected to deliver as much as 8GW of capacity.
June 3, 2021
Lightsource BP has secured AU$330 million (US$255 million) to fund the development of two utility-scale solar projects in Australia.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
July 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
August 24, 2021
Solar Media Events, Upcoming Webinars
October 6, 2021