Gold Fields plans mega solar power plant at Grannie Smith
South Africa-based Gold Fields has announced plans to build one of the world’s largest solar power and battery facilities at its Granny Smith gold mine 400 km northeast of Kalgoorlie. The system will be powered by more than 20,000 solar panels. Backup will be provided by a 2 MWh/1 MWh battery system.
Gold Fields has contracted Aggreko, a mobile and modular power company, to design, build and operate the 8 MW solar generation and storage system. Construction is to begin in May and be complete by Q4 2019. The system at the mine will be integrated with Aggreko’s existing 24.2 MW natural gas generating capabilities.
The solar system is expected to reduce fuel consumption by 10% to 13% and produce 18 GWh of clean energy per year.
The current Granny Smith power station was designed and installed by Aggreko in 2016. The new hybrid power system, combined with a thermal station expansion, will meet the increased daily power needs of 24.2 MW, with 12.2 MW allocated to the Wallaby underground mine and the remaining 12 MW to the processing plant, associated facilities and mining camp.
(This story first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)