WA nickel miner to slash diesel bill with 7MW solar

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WA nickel miner claims “first” solar hybrid plant on an Australian mine primarily funded on commercial basis.

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ASX-listed miner Independence Group is going (partially) solar at its Nova nickel operation in Western Australia, through a PV installation and power purchase agreement with remote power generation specialist Zenith Energy.

The project – which is being described by both parties as the the first fully integrated commercial hybrid diesel/solar PV facility in Australia – was announced by Zenith on Tuesday.

In an amendment to the existing PPA between the two companies, Zenith said it would build own and operate a 7MW solar PV facility at the Nova mine, taking the total capacity of the hybrid power station to around 26MW, with solar providing about half of total generation.

“Importantly, this is the first solar hybrid plant on an Australian mine to be primarily funded on a commercial basis,” Zenith said in a note on its website.

“In achieving this, Zenith have paved the way for the wider use of solar hybrid power generation in the mining sector, offering clients major financial and environmental benefits.”

Zenith, which also owns and operates the mine’s existing Nova Diesel Power Station, said the PV addition would include state-of-the-art modules, single axis tracking, inverters, communications and control system technology.

Read the full story on RenewEconomy sister site, One Step Off The Grid…

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