Juwi Group developed a 10.6MW solar hybrid system to fully integrate with the existing 19MW diesel-fired power station at the DeGrussa Mine. Single axis tracking and a 6MW battery will be used to maximise the use of lower cost solar power to provide the majority of daytime electricity while reducing the mine's total diesel consumption by approximately 20 per cent.
The facility is currently generating approximately 7MW of power, which is in line with expectations given the time of year. Commissioning of the $40 million project commenced in mid-March following installation of the last of the 34,080 solar PV panels. The solar array covers a total area of over 20 hectares at the site, which is located immediately adjacent to the DeGrussa underground mine and processing plant. The DeGrussa mine is very remote, located 900km north of Perth, Australia and 150km from the nearest town Meekatharra - population of 800 people.
"This project demonstrates that Juwi continues to be an international leader and technical pioneer in the photovoltaic project development and EPC space" says Stephan Hansen, Chief Operating Officer of the Juwi Group.
Juwi Australia's Managing Director, Mr Andrew Drager said " the successful completion of the DeGrussa Solar Project is a significant milestone for both the renewable energy and mining industry. We have managed to overcome the many commercial and technical barriers in order to make this flagship project a success. We hope these learnings will make it easier for other mining companies to follow a similar path, as well as the motivation to do so.
We are extremely proud of this achievement, which has only been possible through the dedication and hard work of the Juwi team over the last two and a half years. We would also like to acknowledge the other stakeholders who were instrumental in making this project a success, including Sandfire Resources who have been a pioneer in sustainable mining practices. '100% Renewable Energies' has been the Juwi vision since the company installed the first wind farm 20 years ago. We hope this project provides an opportunity for others to contemplate such as a future."