The project will consist of SunSHIFT power plant that includes a 250kW lithium ion battery, 250kW solar PV system and 10kW wind turbine generator


Image: Early site works are expected to commence early July, with commercial operation scheduled for January 2020. Photo: Courtesy of Michael Schwarzenberger from Pixabay.

Australia-based modern mining company OZ Minerals announced its plans to start construction of a hybrid energy generation power station at its Carrapeteena Copper-Gold Mine, 160km north of Port Augusta.

Initiated by OZ Minerals, the hybrid power plant is built as a collaboration project in partnership with SunSHIFT to develop an off-grid energy solution for remote mining sites.

The project will consist of SunSHIFT power plant that includes a 250kW lithium ion battery, 250kW solar PV system and 10kW wind turbine generator, integrated with a diesel power plant, demand management technologies and electric light vehicle charging station.

The Carrapeteena Copper-Gold Mine marks one of the biggest undeveloped copper projects in Australia. It has the potential to produce 65,000t of copper and 67,000oz of gold a year over the mine’s 20-year life.

Energy and Mining Minister, Dan van Holst Pellekaan said:  “The power plant would provide the South Australian mining sector with a commercial model for the use of solar PV and battery storage at off-grid sites integrated with diesel backup. Low cost, reliable power is vital for our mining industry and this power plant will help forge the path to a cheaper and cleaner energy future.

“The remote location of mines often means they operate completely off-grid and are heavily reliant on diesel-fuel powered generators. OZ Minerals’ power plant will demonstrate the commercial value of a wind and solar PV asset at a remote mine site, and thereby enhancing the feasibility of mines in the development phase.”

SunSHIFT to establish an office in South Australia

The SunSHIFT based New South Wales, is planning to open an office in South Australia, to explore developing similar energy solutions for major mines in operation and under construction.

It estimated that over 250MW of energy is required at mines located at fringe-of-grid or off-grid sites in South Australia.

OZ Minerals said it is looking to partner with industry, research institutions, universities, government, start-ups, business incubators and non-government entities as part of the project to test, trial and pilot new technologies at the Carrapateena site.

OZ Minerals CEO Andrew Cole said: “Mining companies can play a critical role in South Australia’s energy transition. To do this sustainably, we need to develop solutions which enable us to integrate more renewable energy generation on mine sites, whilst ensuring we can manage our demand.

“Our vision is to build the first internationally recognised collaboration hub for renewable energy and demand management related activities on a mine site.