The first of 34,080 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels have been installed at The DeGrussa Copper-Gold Mine, located 900km north-east of Perth in Western Australia. The solar power station will be fully integrated within the existing 20MW diesel-fired power station at the mine. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is putting $20.9 million towards the $40 million project, which will produce 10.6 MW of solar PV power with a storage capacity of 6 MW in lithium-ion batteries.
The Juwi Group, who are coordinating the $40 million investment program, are one of the world's leading renewable energy companies and are responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction of the facility. OTOC Limited will provide surveying, construction and installation services. The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), who invest in commercially viable renewable energy technologies, have committed up to $15 million in debt finance towards the project.
On 1 July 2012, ARENA was established as an independent agency by the Australian Government to make renewable energy technologies more affordable. To help them achieve this, the Government gave ARENA $2.5B in funding until 2022. The investment towards renewable energy means 200 new projects are currently receiving financial support.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the project was shaping up to be a leading example of how mining operations can benefit from renewable energy. Mr Frischknecht also encouraged off-grid industries to adopt renewable solar storage which is often cheaper in the long term compared to the running costs of diesel generators. Solar power will provide the majority of the electricity needed for day time operations at the plant.
On the right path towards carbon reduction
The DeGrussa project is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2016 and is just one of the examples why Australia is becoming a world leader on sustainable strategies. Projects with this level of planning and financial commitment will help Australia's future climate change commitments - way ahead of this week's Paris talks.
The world's leaders have joined together in Paris this week for The United Nations' COP21 summit, to discuss the problem of climate change and global warming. The summit will address present emission levels and hope to forge a long term universal agreement to commit to a reduction of emissions and stay below a global warming rise of 2 degrees Celsius. Further investment in renewable projects like DeGrussa will go a long way in helping achieve this target.
Alongside the commitments from the world's biggest nations, financial support will be offered to the smaller less developed countries. The investment by the UN and private sector will aid those countries by helping them develop sustainable technologies and build the infrastructure needed to reduce emissions.
The mission of ARENA is to facilitate financial investment and adhere to their core vision of enabling Australia to be increasingly powered by affordable renewable energy, which long term will aid in creating a carbon neutral planet.
Looking to hire for your new project?
Do you currently have a project in development or have a future development that will need qualified, skilled workers? Contact us today at Design and Construct to discuss any current or future recruitment needs you may have.