Aggreko backs modular tech for offgrid solar and storage solution


Energy solutions company Aggreko has completed construction and commissioning of a new 4.4 MW solar farm and 2 MW / 1 MWh battery storage system that will help power Australian miner Northern Star Resources’ Porphyry mine operation under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA).

The power plant features prefabricated PV technology supplied by Sydney-headquartered modular solar specialist 5B as well as two Aggreko Y.Cube battery energy storage systems.

The existing 5 MW diesel-fuelled power station, owned and operated by Aggreko, has been connected and integrated with the new solar farm and battery energy storage system. The combined project will be operated by Aggreko for 20 years as part of the long-term PPA.

Aggreko Asia Pacific Managing Director George Whyte said the power plant will ensure long-term renewable power supplies for the mining operation, about 150 east of Kalgoolie in Western Australia’s goldfields region.

“The new solar array … is set to produce about 7.4 GWh of renewable energy each year, saving 1.67 million litres of diesel fuel and 4,486 metric tonnes of carbon emissions annually,” Whyte said, adding that the inclusion of 5B’s re-deployable modular Maverick solar technology would provide lasting benefits.

“We worked closely with 5B to supply a relocatable solar plant, which seamlessly integrates renewables with conventional power sources,” he said.

“This ensures a reliable and sustainable energy supply, while optimising cost effectiveness.”

The Porphyry mine is part of Northern Star’s Carosue Dam project and Operations General Manager John Albrecht said the solar plant will help boost the asset’s financial and environmental footprint. It is estimated the solar and battery system will reduce diesel consumption at the site by up to 1.67 million litres per annum, and slash carbon emissions by almost 4,500 tons a year.

“The off-grid power solution implemented provides a reliable, and cost-effective solution that can be scaled up and down as needed throughout our mine’s operational life cycle,” he said.

The Carosue Dam operations includes the Carosue Dam, Porphyry and the Deep South projects.

The Porphyry project is Aggreko’s second thermal renewable hybrid power station in the region.

The company also operates a 27.3 MW hybrid microgrid that powers Gold Fields Australia’s Granny Smith mining operation near Laverton in WA. The system, which was installed in 2020, comprises 7.7 MWp of solar and a 2 MW / 1 MWh battery system integrated with 24.2 MW of gas generation.

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