The Tuckabianna hybrid power facility – the first of four new hybrid power stations being developed for Westgold Resources – has commenced operations, in Western Australia; a major milestone for the gold miner and its Clean Energy Transition initiative.
The four facilities – at Tuckabianna, Bluebird, Fortnum and Big Bell – are expected to provide substantial reductions in emissions and power costs across Westgold’s operations in the Murchison and Bryah regions of Western Australia, according to Pacific Energy, the provider of these solutions. The system will have a combined installed capacity of 82 MW, providing an expected annual reduction of 38 million litres in diesel fuel usage and approximately 57,000 t/y less CO2-equivalent emissions.
Westgold Chair, Cheryl Edwardes, and Managing Director, Wayne Bramwell, joined business partners, local officials and Traditional Owners on site to open the 17.9 MW facility this week.
The Tuckabianna facility includes a 6 MW solar farm fitted with 11,088 photovoltaic panels, a battery energy storage system with 2.4 MW installed capacity, and a 9.5 MW gas-fuelled power station.
The gas-fired power stations, battery storage and solar farms are owned and operated by Pacific Energy under an Electricity Purchase Agreement, and the LNG is provided by Clean Energy Fuels Australia (CEFA) under an LNG supply agreement. These agreements were signed last year.
These agreements will deliver substantial operating cost savings to Westgold in its 2023-2024 financial years onwards of around A$100/oz ($68/oz) at the then current diesel price and supports its commitment to environmental, social and governance initiatives that will reduce the company’s long term greenhouse gas emissions, it said.
Westgold’s Bramwell said: “Westgold continues to innovate to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and drive our operating costs down. This new hybrid power facility at Tuckabianna incorporates renewable energy and is a great first step along this journey, with power generated from these facilities energising our mines and processing hubs for decades to come. The successful commissioning of Tuckabianna is a testament to the tireless work of Westgold’s project and operational teams, business partners at Pacific Energy and CEFA and construction crews who have delivered our first power station safely and on schedule.”
Pacific Energy CEO, Jamie Cullen, said: “Congratulations to the Pacific Energy and Westgold project teams for delivering the Tuckabianna hybrid station – on time, and most importantly safely and incident free. Tuckabianna is part of a larger project to consolidate six existing power stations into four high efficiency hybrid power stations that incorporate gas, solar and battery storage systems. Collectively this represents one of the largest fully integrated hybrid power systems in the Australian mining sector.
“As a valued client of Pacific Energy since 2015, we are delighted to join Westgold on its transition to a cleaner energy future.”