Nickel miner Independence Group (IGO) is set to lower the operating costs at the Nova mine in Western Australia by adding solar power to the site’s energy mix.
IGO has amended its Nova power agreement with Zenith Energy to include a solar PV facility with a forecast 12.5GWh of annual generation.
The development will provide Nova with the first fully-integrated commercial hybrid diesel/solar PV facility in Australia.
Zenith will build, own and operate the hybrid station, which will have around 26MW of capacity to service the operation.
The solar facility will be developed to complement Nova’s existing diesel power station. It will include new PV modules, single axis tracking, inverters, communications and control system technology.
IGO managing director Peter Bradford said the company was committed to renewable energy sources to reduce its carbon footprint.
“The development of this innovative hybrid energy solution will also improve our cost structure with targeted renewable power insertion of up to 50 per cent of demand via the solar PV facility,” Bradford said.
The project partners expect the solar facility will start supplying power to Nova in the first quarter of the 2020 financial year.
Zenith managing director Hamish Moffat said the amendment to the power agreement demonstrated the company’s ability to provide dynamic, innovative solutions.
“This development represents the first fully-integrated commercial hybrid diesel/solar PV facility in Australia and is a step forward in future renewable energy solutions,” Moffatt said.
The Nova operation is in the Fraser Range, 360km southeast of Kalgoorlie.