Zenith Energy and Liontown Resources have partnered on what they say is Australia’s largest off-grid renewable energy hybrid power station project.
The letter of award between the two companies covers a potential contract to build, own, and operate the hybrid power station in Australia at Liontown’s Kathleen Valley Project in Western Australia.
The award will see Zenith Energy construct a 95 MW hybrid power station at Kathleen Valley in the Goldfields-Esperance region, which includes 30 MW of wind capacity, 16 MWp fixed axis solar PV array and a 17 MW/19 MWh battery energy storage system (BESS).
Kathleen Valley is one of the world’s largest and highest-grade hard-rock lithium deposits and, with an initial 2.5 Mt/y production capacity, is expected to supply circa-500,000 t/y of 6% lithium oxide concentrate, according to the company. With first production expected in June quarter of 2024, the deposit will also produce tantalum pentoxide.
Zenith Managing Director, Hamish Moffat, says the partnership will allow Zenith Energy to demonstrate its innovation, flexibility and expertise to deliver low-carbon emitting hybrid power solutions.
“Zenith Energy is proud to continue to play a lead role in the energy transition, and to provide like-minded partners with a glide path to net zero,” he said. “The project also further demonstrates Zenith Energy’s continued commitment to increasing the proportion of renewable generation in our portfolio.”
Moffat says the thermal components of the power station are designed to operate in ‘engine off’ mode at various times, delivering 100% renewable energy generation to Kathleen Valley.
“It’s an exciting opportunity to showcase our expertise, and the ability of renewables to deliver reliable, continuous supply, to power an entire mining operation,” he said. “It will once again raise the industry benchmark in renewable energy integration and demonstrates our commitment to power decarbonisation.”
Other unique aspects of the agreement include:
- Largest off-grid hybrid power station in Australia: The hybrid power station is currently expected to have the largest off-grid renewable capacity of any mining project in the country, with 46 MW and 17 MW BESS; and
- Renewable incentives: A combination of incentives to produce renewable power over thermal power together with a renewable energy guarantee will allow Liontown to meet and exceed its renewable energy factor target of 60% at startup and beyond.
Liontown Managing Director and CEO, Tony Ottaviano, says Liontown is delighted to partner with such an experienced and highly competent power producer.
“We believe Zenith Energy is an ideal partner to delivery an industry leading hybrid power station to meet Liontown’s energy needs and requirements for a high-capacity renewable solution,” Ottaviano said. “The hybrid power station proposed will enable Liontown to exceed our target of achieving at least 60% renewable energy at project start-up and beyond.”
Moffat says Zenith Energy is engaged with Traditional Owners, recently announcing a collaboration with Tjiwarl Contracting Services to work together to deliver low carbon emission power solutions for miners and communities on Tjiwarl native title determined lands.
Zenith Energy and Liontown have agreed key commercial terms and are working to finalise arrangements under a binding long term build, own and operate power purchase agreement.