Pacific Energy lands first NSW PPA and sets up shop in Victoria


Under an initial 10-year build-own-operate power purchase agreement (PPA), Perth-based Pacific Energy will deliver a hybrid microgrid, including 11 MW of solar generation and a 3 MW / 6 MWh battery energy storage system, to help power Tronox’s Atlas-Campaspe mining operation near Hatfield in southwest New South Wales (NSW).

The new solar and battery storage will be integrated with 12 MW of diesel generation, helping to reduce the mining operation’s diesel usage by nearly five million litres per year and cutting its annual carbon emissions by approximately 13,000 tonnes.

The solar and battery integration will provide up to 40% renewable energy to the mine site’s power supply, while the system also includes “hydrocarbons-off functionality,” enabling the site to operate solely on renewable energy when solar power production outweighs mine site load, which the Pacific expects will be most days.

Site works for the Tronox project are anticipated to commence in June 2024, with the power system expected to be operational by mid-2025.

Pacific Chief Executive Jamie Cullen said the system, which has been designed to accommodate future expansion of renewable generation, will allow Tronox to better control costs and manage its environmental footprint.

“By consolidating Tronox’s existing power supply, we can reduce its 41 existing diesel generators down to just six, not only reducing its fossil fuel consumption and the associated scope one emissions, but also operations and maintenance costs,” he said.

Cullen said the PPA with Tronox marks another important step in delivering on the company’s east coast growth strategy which includes the launch of a new business unit aimed at meeting the growing demand for clean energy solutions.

The new division, Melbourne-based Pacific Energy Connected (PEC), will support hydrogen projects nationally and deliver stand-alone power systems, battery storage systems and renewable energy microgrids to the National Electricity Market (NEM), east coast isolated networks and the mobility sector.

“With the pipeline of opportunities aimed at decarbonising grid connected assets continuing to rapidly expand, this move will support our goal to be the go-to partner for clients seeking to solve their energy transition challenges,” Cullen said.

With 930 MW of contracted capacity already under management at 49 owned-and-operated assets nationally, the establishment of PEC also marks the final step in the integration into Pacific of gas storage and transport provider ENGV and an ongoing focus on green hydrogen projects.

PEC will oversee projects coming online in the near future, including Hyundai’s Macquarie Park Hydrogen Refuelling Facility and several storage and renewables projects commencing construction.

Cullen said hydrogen is a key pillar in the company’s east coast growth strategy.

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