Mineral Resources (MinRes) has successfully installed a 2.1 megawatt (MW) solar-battery system at its Wonmunna iron ore project.
The Wonmunna iron ore project is located 80 kilometres north-west of Newman in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
It was purchased by MinRes as an undeveloped project in 2021, and its first ore was achieved five months after the site’s construction began. During 2022, the project’s production increased up to five million tonnes per annum.
The installation of the 5B Maverick solar technology at Wonmunna was complete with more than 4000 solar panels following successful testing and optimisation works which proved the technology will provide significant benefits for the site’s operations such as reducing dependency on diesel fuel.
Wonmunna’s solar-battery system will produce more that 30 per cent of its power requirements and is expected to cut diesel consumption by approximately 760,000 litres each year, and reduce carbon emissions by around 2000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent each year.
Wonmunna’s crusher is 100 per cent powered by the solar-battery system during the middle of the day when renewable output meets peak plant load and during the warmer months the system can achieve more than 40 per cent displacement on any given day.
Within a 20-year life span it can be redeployed to other operations once Wonmunna reaches its end-of-life.
MinRes chief executive energy Darren Hardy said the solar-battery system’s installation is a positive step forward in its renewable energy strategy.
“MinRes is committed to pursuing renewable energy opportunities where we can and our team has been working hard to deliver a solar array and battery solution that delivers optimum output at Wonmunna,” Hardy said.
“Together with natural gas, renewables will play an important role in our energy future, and MinRes continues to pursue off-grid solar power and energy storage solutions to support our remote locations.”