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Independence Group NL to install first hybrid diesel/Solar Photovoltaic power station in Australia

A mining operation in Australia is going to see the first fully integrated commercial hybrid diesel/solar PV facility installed in the country. Zenith...

Dale Benton
|Oct 23|magazine8 min read

A mining operation in Australia is going to see the first fully integrated commercial hybrid diesel/solar PV facility installed in the country.

Zenith Energy announced in a statement this week that it will install a solar photovoltaic facility at Independence Group NL’s Nova Operation.

Under an amended term agreement, Zenith will build, own and operate a hybrid diesel/Solar PV power station of approximately 26MW in installed capacity to “reliably and efficiently service” the power needs of the Nova Operation.

The Solar PV facility will complement the existing Nova Diesel Power Station designed, owned, and operated by Zenith. The Solar PV will include new state-of-the-art PV modules, single axis tracking, inverters, communications and control system technology. The installation will take total generating capacity to 26MW at Nova.

A supply commencement date has been set for Q1 FY20 with an initial supply period of six years and an option for IGO to extend for a further two years, aligned with the existing PPA.

Completion of the integrated Solar PV facility is expected within Q1 FY20. It will provide high efficiency diesel fuelled generators and solar PV generation, providing the Nova Operation with highly efficient, cost effective and environmentally responsible power generation into the future.

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Zenith Energy’s Managing Director, Hamish Moffat commented:

“We are delighted to sign this PPA amendment with IGO, which again demonstrates Zenith Energy’s ability to provide dynamic, innovative solutions for our clients in a safe, reliable, highly efficient and cost-effective manner. This development represents the first fully integrated commercial hybrid diesel/Solar PV facility in Australia and is a step forward in future renewable energy solutions. We look forward to continuing our work with the team at IGO to deliver effective power supply solutions to their Nova Operation.”

IGO’s Managing Director, Peter Bradford commented: “The development of this innovative hybrid energy solution will also improve our cost structure with targeted renewable power insertion of up to 50% of demand via the Solar PV facility.”

Located in the Fraser Range, Western Australia, the Nova Operation achieved total production of 22,258t of nickel and 9,545t of copper in its first full year of operation in 2018.