OZ Minerals will begin construction of a hybrid energy generation power station next month at its Carrapeteena Copper-Gold Mine, 160 km north of Port Augusta in South Australia.
The project consists of a power plant comprised of a 250 kW lithium ion battery, 250 kW solar PV system and 10 kW wind turbine generator, integrated with a diesel power plant, demand management technologies and electric light vehicle charging station.
The Carrapeteena Copper-Gold Mine is one of the biggest undeveloped copper projects in Australia and has the potential to produce 65,000t of copper and 67,000oz of gold a year over the mine’s 20-year life.
Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the power plant would provide the South Australian mining sector with a commercial model for the use of solar PV and battery storage at off-grid sites integrated with diesel backup.
“Low cost, reliable power is vital for our mining industry and this power plant will help forge the path to a cheaper and cleaner energy future,” said Minister van Holst Pellekaan.
“The remote location of mines often means they operate completely off-grid and are heavily reliant on diesel-fuel powered generators.
“OZ Minerals’ power plant will demonstrate the commercial value of a wind and solar PV asset at a remote mine site, and thereby enhancing the feasibility of mines in the development phase.”
OZ Minerals CEO Andrew Cole said in order for mining companies to play a critical role in South Australia’s sustainable energy transition, solutions need to be developed that can enable the integration of more renewable energy generation on mine sites, while managing the demand.
As part of the project, OZ Minerals is looking to partner with industry, research institutions, universities, government, start-ups, business incubators and non-government entities to test, trial and pilot new technologies at the Carrapateena site.
“Our vision is to build the first internationally recognised collaboration hub for renewable energy and demand management related activities on a mine site,” said Mr Cole.
Founding partners include Adelaide University, the CSIRO, Department for Energy and Mining, Rocky Mountain Institute, Urban Renewal Authority, SunSHIFT and Tonsley Innovation Precinct.
“The Energy and Mining Collaboration is open to all who want to participate – establishing a true partnership model that fosters collaboration towards shared goals in the mining industry and beyond; unlocking transformational value,” he said.
Early site works are expected to commence early July, with commercial operation scheduled for January 2020.