Gold Fields, Aggreko explore renewable energy options at Granny Smith mine
Exactly 2 years after replacing the existing diesel power station with a high-speed, gas-fuelled reciprocating engine station, Aggreko is now working with Gold Fields to introduce renewables at its Granny Smith gold mine in Western Australia.
Aggreko won the contract to build and operate the 21MW power station in 2016, and has since worked with Gold Fields on plans to provide 7.3MW of solar power generation, as well as a 2MW/1MWh battery system, to be integrated with the existing gas supply as a hybrid power station.
Since acquiring battery storage company Younicos last year, Aggreko has been able to bring together multiple technologies and power sources to support off-grid applications at remote mine sites. “We recently announced the availability of microgrids-as-a-service for customers who want to leverage the benefits of hybrid energy solutions while minimising capital outlay,” said Karim Wazni, Managing Director of Younicos. “This system will be the first time Aggreko incorporates battery storage into a hybrid power system, and – significantly – it’s a rental, which underscores the value and appeal of this new model.”
“Our mining clients have faced a challenging market place and power generation is a significant proportion of operating costs. Our global capability offers additional flexibility which reduces investment and operational risk,” said George Whyte, Managing Director of Aggreko AusPac. “Aggreko’s focus is on fuel efficiency and reliability in line with the power demand over the life of the mine,” Mr Whyte said.
Stuart Mathews, Executive Vice President Australasia at Gold Fields, said that in addition to the cost efficiency and reliability benefits of the new hybrid power station, the upgrade reflected Gold Fields’ commitment to the increased usage of renewable and low-carbon energy sources throughout the Group. Gold Fields is committed to using renewables for at least 20% of total life-of-mine power requirements in new projects.
“The integration of renewables at Granny Smith mine is a demonstration of Gold Fields’ ongoing commitment to both environmental sustainability and innovation at its operations. These proposed new measures are intended to reduce our carbon footprint by utilising the latest hybrid energy technologies,” Mr Mathews said.
Gold Fields currently operates all three of its Western Australian gold mines by using gas-powered electricity. The proposed new hybrid power station, combined with a thermal station expansion at Granny Smith mine will meet the increased daily power needs of the entire mine of 24.2MW, with 8MW allocated to the Wallaby underground mine and the remaining 16.2MW for the processing plant, associated facilities and the mine camp.
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ABOUT GOLD FIELDS
- The Granny Smith Mine is located 720km east-north-east of Perth in Western Australia and 23km south west of the town of Laverton
- The Granny Smith Mine produced 290,000 ounces of gold in 2017
- Gold Fields also operates the St Ives and Agnew mines in Western Australia. Gold Fields in partnership with Gold Road Resources is also developing the Gruyere gold project.
- Gold Fields employs more than 2,200 employees and contractors in Australia
- Gold Fields has a primary listing on the JSE Limited, with secondary listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Swiss Exchange (SWX)
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