Leading Australian energy infrastructure business APA Group will begin stage two of the Mica Creek solar farm in Mount Isa in 2022, following an agreement with Glencore’s Mount Isa Mines (MIM).
APA will enter into a variation to an existing offtake agreement for the supply of renewable electricity for 15 years with MIM.
The announcement of the second stage of works and associated offtake agreement follows APA’s announcement in November of a 15-year solar offtake agreement with MMG Dugald River to supply the initial 44-megawatts from stage one of the Mica Creek solar farm.
APA chief executive officer and managing director Rob Wheals said he was pleased to be able to continue to provide customers with energy solutions that support the North West Minerals Province with affordable and renewable electricity.
“We have worked closely with MIM to ensure we meet their needs as a valued customer, so they can, in turn, continue to grow and support the Mount Isa economy and minerals rich North West Minerals Province,” Wheals said.
APA has reached a final investment decision to build stage two of the Mica Creek solar farm, doubling the size of the project and taking the total investment for both stages to approximately $150 million.
“We now have two major APA customers supporting both stages of the 88-megawatt Mica Creek solar farm with agreements to supply renewable electricity to their Mount Isa operations, demonstrating the enthusiasm of customers in the region for integrated energy solutions that can both meet their energy needs and help reduce their operational emissions,” he said.
“With supply of renewable energy for the two initial stages now under contract, APA is investigating a potential expansion for a third stage, following strong interest from customers.”
The development of the Mica Creek solar farm will reduce the emissions intensity from APA’s entire Mount Isa generation fleet even further, taking it well below the Australian average.
The second stage of the solar farm is co-located on the same site as stage one near APA’s Diamantina Power Station Complex on land which is leased from the Queensland Government.
The Mica Creek solar farm is expected to be operational by mid-2023.