Australia’s largest off grid solar plant to service mine

Sandfire Resource’s DeGrussa mine

Construction is set to commence this month on one of the world’s largest integrated solar installations used to power a mine.

The facility will reduce dependency on diesel fuel and provide Sandfire Resource’s DeGrussa mine in Western Australia, with 80 per cent of its daytime energy needs and slash carbon emissions by 12,000 tonnes a year.
Sandfire Resource's DeGrussa mine
Sandfire’s chief operating officer Mike Spreadborough said, “By integrating diesel with solar power we’re significantly saving, it’s much cheaper than the historical costs of other fuels.”

More than half the $40 million solar power and battery storage facility’s cost was funded by federal government loans, with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) putting up nearly $21 million.

The federal government’s other green lender, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), committed up to $15 million while French renewable energy firm Neon, which will own the power plant, made up most of the difference.

The project will feature 34,080 solar panels spread over 20 hectares and will be integrated with the mine’s existing 19 MW diesel-fired power station.

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