First turbine blade leaves port for epic road trip to mine’s remote renewable microgrid

Photo Credit: Danny Tuddenham

A massive wind turbine blade has hit the road, en route to what will be one of the largest off-grid hybrid renewable energy systems to power a mining operation in Australia.

Alireza Khatibi, project planning manager at Goldwind Renewable says the 81 meters long blade left the Western Australia port of Geraldton on Sunday on the road to the Kathleen Valley lithium mine, 700km north-east of Perth.

Goldwind’s Khatibi said on LinkedIn on Monday that wind turbine blade would be on the road for around 700km before reaching the lithium mine near Leinster.

“Total length of what you see in the picture is 92 meters, combination of trailer and the prime mover. This blade will be one of three which will be installed on a 6 MW Goldwind turbine and peak height from ground will be 210 metres,” he writes.

Mine owner Liontown Resources last year awarded Zenith Energy the contract to supply electricity to the site on a “build, own and operate basis” over 15 years.

As RenewEconomy reported at the time, the 95MW hybrid power station will be the largest off-grid combination wind-solar-battery facility to be deployed in the mining sector.

It will beat the 56MW solar, wind and battery project developed and operated by EDL at the Agnew gold mine in Western Australia that was commissioned in mid-2021.

The Kathleen Valley power station will comprise 30MW of wind, from a total of five 6MW turbines, and 16MW of solar PV and a 17MW/19MWh battery energy storage system, as well as synchronous condensers to provide critical system stability and resilience.

Last week, Zenith Energy reported, also on LinkedIn, that construction of the solar component of the Kathleen Valley project had been completed, by Australia’s solar innovator 5B.

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