acific Energy says it has been awarded the contract to integrate 62 MW of clean energy into its existing 54 MW gas fired power system at the Tropicana gold mine, 330 km northeast of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.
Tropicana is owned by AngloGold Ashanti Australia Ltd (70% and manager) and Regis Resources Ltd (30%).
The renewable expansion of the existing power system will be delivered under a 10-year build-own-operate agreement. When completed, the 116 MW power station will be the largest off-grid hybrid investment in the power provider’s portfolio, and, at time of contract, the largest off-grid gas-wind-solar-battery storage facility in the Australian resources sector, according to Pacific Energy.
The expansion will incorporate four 6 MW wind turbines, a 24 MW solar farm and a 14 MW battery storage system (BESS). The integrated power facility’s intelligent control system, which has been developed in-house by Pacific Energy, will optimise input from the high penetration renewable energy and storage technologies and allow the system to run hydrocarbons-free for extended periods of time, the company says.
Pacific Energy has designed the new system to support AngloGold Ashanti’s strategy of reducing its global net carbon emissions from energy use by 30% by 2030, as part of its roadmap to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Overall, the renewables integration is expected to reduce Tropicana’s diesel and gas consumption for power generation by 96% and 50% respectively, slashing carbon emissions by an average of 65,000 t/y over the life of the agreement, according to Pacific Energy.
Pacific Energy Chief Executive, Jamie Cullen, said: “This is an excellent outcome for our long-time client, AngloGold Ashanti. We’ve been on the journey with them since 2012 and we are incredibly pleased to apply proven global technologies and our in-house expertise to help decarbonise their operations without losing power reliability or efficiency.
“To date, we are the only operator to successfully supply hydrocarbons-free power to mine sites in Australia.
“We expect our new system to reduce the mine site’s overall power generation emissions by 50%. It’s a really exciting prospect for us and AngloGold Ashanti, and one we’ve worked hard to achieve on our client’s behalf.”
Delivery of the project, which is slated to be Australia’s most remote large-scale hybrid power system, will be coordinated by Pacific Energy’s Remote Energy and Integrated Renewables divisions. The company will capitalise on its fully-integrated capabilities by manufacturing the BESS, high-voltage switch room and PV ring main units in house at its Western Australia-based facilities, it says.
Pacific Energy is expected to begin site works in July this year, with the project due for completion in early 2025.