Australia’s largest hybrid renewable microgrid has been completed at Gold Fields’ Agnew Gold Mine in remote Western Australia.
On Monday, EDL announced that all five wind turbines were officially up and running and integrated into the 56-Megawatt (MW) Agnew Hybrid Renewable Project – the first in the country to power a mine with wind-generated electricity.
The project comprises four key components controlled by an advanced microgrid system:
- Five 110m wind turbines, each with a rotor diameter of 140m, delivering 18MW
- A 10,710-panel solar farm generating 4MW
- A 13MW/4MWh battery energy storage system
- Off-grid 21MW gas/diesel engine power plant
EDL outlines that in favourable weather conditions the project has delivered up to 70 per cent of Agnew’s power requirements with renewable energy.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) provided $13.5 million in funding to the project under its Advancing Renewables Program.
EDL Chief Executive Officer, James Harman, congratulated Gold Fields for their vision and their role in leading the Australian mining industry’s transition to clean, reliable renewable energy.
“We also acknowledge the incredible achievement of the EDL project delivery team and our contractors. We faced transport challenges during the bushfires and impacts on personnel from COVID-19 restrictions as well as geographical, logistics and technical challenges to safely construct this innovative energy facility in the remote WA Goldfields region.”
Gold Fields Executive Vice President Australasia, Stuart Mathews, commented that the completion of the project was an important milestone for Gold Fields, EDL, and the broader mining industry.
“We are proud to be able to showcase this project with EDL as an outstanding example of the capacity of the hybrid renewable energy model to meet the dynamic power requirements of remote mining operations,” he said.
“For our people and our stakeholders, this is a very clear demonstration of our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint whilst strengthening our security of supply. Having built our internal technical capability and developed strong relationships with our business partners, we are well placed to continue to implement renewables solutions elsewhere in our business.”