Sandfire Resources NL (ASX:SFR) has provided an update on the construction of the DeGrussa solar power project.
The company commenced the construction of a solar power station at its DeGrussa copper mine in Western Australia. The construction started in mid-July 2015, and has reached a key milestone as it is ready for installation of the first solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.
The company reports that the $40 million worth project is the largest integrated off-grid solar and battery storage facility in Australia. This power station will comprise of 34,080 solar PV panels that cover a total area of over 20 hectares at a site located adjacent to the DeGrussa underground mine and processing plant. Installation of the solar PV modules is expected to be completed by early next year.
At the current stage, the site has been levelled, and 4,700 steel posts have been installed to mount the single axis tracking system and solar PV panels. This system will allow the panels to track the sun during the day and thereby improve its overall performance.
Key representatives of the project consortium are Neoen, juwi Renewable Energy, OTOC Limited, Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Neoen is a French renewable energy firm and will also own the facility; juwi is the project developer and operator, and is responsible for engineering, procurement and construction. CEFC and ARENA are the project financiers.
Sandfire’s Managing Director, Mr Karl Simich commented on the project: “The sheer scale of the project is as impressive as the level of expertise and technological capability which the various consortium members – each leaders in their respective field – have brought to the venture. A project like this is only viable because of the interaction of the various stakeholders and their strong belief in hybrid systems.”
This project is expected to set a new benchmark for the use of renewable energy at remote mine sites, as the plant will reduce DeGrussa’s carbon emissions by more than 12,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
The company reported that the overall construction of the project is on track to deliver electricity from the facility during Q1 of CY 2016.
SFR last traded at $5.22 as at 11:00 AM (AEDT) and is up 15% for the year.