• Off-grid Agnew Gold Mine of Gold Fields in Western Australia has switched on a 4 MW solar PV plant combined with 19 MW of diesel and gas fired capacity
  • EDL has connected this capacity under first stage of the 54 MW project; remaining 18 MW wind, 13 MW battery and micro-grid control system will be online in the second stage in mid-2020
  • Once the 54 MW hybrid renewable energy microgrid project is energized by EDL for Agnew Gold Field, renewables will provide more than 50% of the mine’s power requirements, according to EDL and Gold Fields

Distributed energy company EDL has energized 23 MW as the first stage of a hybrid renewable energy microgrid in Australia that will supply power to off-grid gold mining operations of Gold Fields Limited at Agnew Gold Mine. In the first stage, EDL has switched on 4 MW of solar power generation capacity and 19 MW of gas and diesel generation.

The second stage will see 18 MW of wind power, a 13 MW battery and an advanced micro-grid control system, which will be connected in mid-2020 when the total project capacity of 54 MW will come online. At that point, renewables will constitute more than 50% of the mine’s power capacity. Partners on the project may consider expanding the capacity further.

Backed by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), it is one of the country’s largest hybrid renewable microgrid projects combining various technologies to power remote, off-grid mining operations. The entire project is expected to cost AUD 112 million ($76 million).

On completion the Agnew Hybrid Renewable Project will become the first large hybrid microgrid project in the Australian mining sector to deploy wind power. “This innovative, Australia-first project is setting the standard for mine sites throughout Western Australia,” said Western Australia Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Energy and Industrial Relations Bill Johnston.

ARENA is also funding the construction and connection of a 60 MW solar PV project with 145 MW gas-fired power plant of Alinta Energy to power iron ore mines of Fortescue (see ARENA Funds Solar+Gas Hybrid Project For Iron Ore Mines).