Sandfire Resources announces commissioning of DeGrussa Solar Project

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Sandfire Resources (ASX: SFR) announced the new solar power facility at the company’s 100 per cent-owned DeGrussa copper-gold mine in Western Australia has achieved full generation capacity.

The facility is currently generating approximately 7MW of power, which Sandfire said was in line with seasonal expectations.

Solar generating output will ramp up during the summer months to achieve the full 10MW functional capacity.

The $40 million DeGrussa solar project is claimed to be the largest integrated off-grid solar and battery storage facility in Australia and reportedly, in the world.

The project comprises 34,080 solar PV panels with a single-axis tracking system mounted on 4,700 steel posts, enabling the panels to track the sun during the day, improving the plant’s overall performance.

“This is the largest integrated off-grid solar and battery storage facility in Australia and draws together a number of technologies which are widely expected to have a transformational impact on the global economy over the next decade,” Sandfire Resources managing director Karl Simich said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“These include solar power combined with a state-of-the-art lithiumion battery storage facility, which has been used for the first time in a remote location at the DeGrussa copper-gold mine.

“This project has already attracted a significant amount of interest from within the mining industry in Australia with Sandfire receiving inquiries from several of our peers interested in adopting this technology at their mine sites.

“I would not be surprised to see more facilities like this built over the next few years, as the benefits and potential of solar power become increasingly recognised across the resource sector.

“The DeGrussa solar project is expected to reduce our annual diesel consumption and cut our carbon emissions by more than 12,000 tonnes of CO2 annually – a reduction of more than 15 per cent based on our reported emissions for the 2016 financial year.”