DeGrussa Solar Farm
Sandfire was a first mover in Australia for renewable energy use in an off-grid mining application.
The innovative $40M DeGrussa Solar Project was successfully commissioned at Sandfire’s DeGrussa Copper-Gold Mine in June 2016.
Covering a total area of over 20 hectares, it is the largest integrated off-grid solar and battery storage facility in Australia and, reportedly, the world.
The project comprises 34,080 solar PV panels with a single-axis tracking system mounted on 4,700 steel posts. This enables the panels to track the sun during the day, improving the plant’s overall performance.
The panels are connected via an extensive network of low-voltage, high-voltage and communication cables to a 6MW lithium-ion battery storage facility and the existing 19MW diesel-fired power station at DeGrussa.
The solar facility has been integrated with the diesel-fired power station, continuing to provide base-load power to the DeGrussa mine with sufficient minimum load to ensure it can respond quickly to meet the power requirements of the process plant and underground mine.
The DeGrussa Solar Project supplies nearly 20 per cent of the annual power requirements of the DeGrussa Copper-Gold Mine and cut its emissions by around 12,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.