Mica Creek Solar Farm in Queensland mining hub signs third offtaker


Zinc producer New Century Resources has provisionally agreed to take up to 8 MW of solar energy from Australian gas and electricity company APA Group’s Mica Creek Solar Farm in Queensland’s North West Minerals Province. 

The supply is planned for the company’s flagship mine, New Century, north of Mount Isa and would go a small way to cutting its power generation carbon emissions.

The Mica Creek Solar Farm has been developed in two stages, the first 44 MW underpinned by a 15-year offtake agreement with another zinc miner MM Dugald River. Construction on the second stage, doubling the project’s capacity to 88 MW, began this year, with the full project expected to be operational by late FY23. 

The deal signed with New Century Resources is only in the form of a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), and requires New Century to amend its existing Power Purchase Agreement to include the new 8 MW of supply from Mica Creek Solar Farm by the end of the month.

Mica Creek’s stage two development is, however, already secured through a previously announced contract with Mt Isa Mines, a Glencore Australia company.

Darren Rogers, APA Group’s Executive for Strategy and Commercial, said the New Century deal is part of the APA’s plan to bring renewables to Queensland’s North West Minerals Province, a mining hub, to help the resource sector to decarbonise. 

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