Sunrise Energy Group will supply and construct a solar farm at Image Resources’ Boonanarring mineral sands project north of Perth in Western Australia.
The proposed 3–4MW alternating current solar farm will be built adjacent to the Boonanarring mine and processing plant, which are under construction and scheduled for commissioning in the fourth quarter of this year.
Sunrise will build, own and operate the solar farm, subject to the required approvals. The farm will connect directly to Image’s embedded electrical supply network in a ‘behind the meter’ configuration. Construction of the farm is expected to start early next year.
Image managing director Patrick Mutz said the company was pleased to be one of the pioneering Western Australian companies adopting distributed renewable electricity generation.
“The solar farm is expected to produce around 25 per cent of our electrical requirements at Boonanarring,” Mutz said.
“Not only will the solar farm supply power in an environmentally-sustainable manner, its construction will result in a further $6–7 million of capital investment by Sunrise Energy Group into a long-life asset located in the shire of Gingin, creating both construction and operational employment.”
Sunrise will complete the remaining development activities, including the approvals process, over the next six to eight months at its own cost.
Neil Canby, Sunrise director, pointed out that adoption of large-scale distributed generation by the commercial and industrial sector in Western Australia had been limited to date.
“The WA market is a very different market to the National Electricity Market applicable to the Eastern States, having unique challenges and opportunities,” Canby said.
“Image Resources has taken the time to work through our commercial model and evaluate the opportunity as a potential large load industrial customer, including the social, environmental and economical benefits of having distributed renewable energy generation for their mining project.”
Image started construction of Boonanarring in April and expects to launch production at the site by the end of December.