According to a statement by juwi's Australian subsidiary, the company has built the world's largest solar-hybrid power plant for the mining company Sandfire Resources NL. The 10.6-MW solar park with single-axis tracking has been generating electricity since May. The energy is either used directly or via a 6-MW battery by the DeGrussa Mine.
The hybrid system, which is located 900 kilometres north of Perth in Western Australia, was commissioned in late May, juwi reported. The system has been integrated with the gold and copper mine's existing 19-MW diesel power plant. A part of the energy demand can now be covered by the sun during the day. According to juwi, this will reduce the amount of diesel used by the mine by more than 20%, or five million litres of fossil fuel.
For juwi's board member Stephan Hansen, the fact that the mining company made this investment shows that renewable energy is economically viable: "We are very pleased to have carried out this pioneering off-grid project. Power plant-size off-grid systems in particular offer very good conditions for this." The combined solar power plant and battery storage system is fully integrated into the existing diesel power plant and reduces its base load without interrupting the operation of the mine. The DeGrussa project is the largest in Australia to date for the juwi Group. In 2014, juwi acquired a majority stake in the project developer Qi Power Limited from Brisbane, which has vast experience in the Australian mining and energy industries.
The project is being financed by the Clean Energy Corporation (CEFC), Neoen and of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which has granted a government subsidy of 20.9 million Australian dollars.
Ralf Ossenbrink / juwi