Hazardous waste facility now 100% renewably powered in daytime thanks to solar microgrid


Tellus, a company focused on cleaning up Australia of hazardous waste, is making sure that its efforts are not producing their own hazardous waste in the form of greenhouse gas emissions. To this end, Tellus partnered with Hybrid Systems Australia (HSA) to build a solar microgrid at its remote Sandy Ridge Facility west-north-west of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia (WA).

The Sandy Ridge Project is Australia’s first dual open-cut kaolin mine and arid near-surface geological waste repository, which is to say a kaolin clay bed as old as the dinosaurs on top of some of the planet’s most stable rock formations which, at 3.7 billion years old, are thought to have originated contemporaneously with U.S. President-Elect Joe Biden.

The Sandy Ridge dome.

Image: Tellus

HSA combined a 2 MW diesel power station with a 1.2 MW solar farm and a 350 kWh Samsung lithium-ion battery, add in a ABB inverter and Tellus now has its own microgrid certifying the facility as being 100% powered by renewable energy, and 100% “hydrocarbon free”, during daytime operations, thanks to a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

Tellus Chief Development Officer, Steve Hosking, said the agreement with HSA “provides Tellus with long-term certainty for renewable power supply, reducing the reliance on diesel fuel and significantly reducing unit costs.”

HSA Executive Director Mike Hall said, “Running 100% solar for the majority of sunlight hours every day is an Australian first for a remote processing facility as far as we know. Inherently there’s usually a back-up generator running no matter what level of renewables penetration there is on a site.”

Hybrid Systems Australia Executive Director Mike Hall being outstanding in his solar field.

Image: Tellus

Tellus CEO Nate Smith said the partnership with Hybrid Systems helped with Tellus’ commitment to clean up Australia’s hazardous waste “while reducing our environmental impact. Accordingly, in developing Sandy Ridge we prioritised renewables as a power source.”


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