Zenith Energy has converted the Letter of Award it signed with Liontown Resources to supply electricity to the Kathleen Valley lithium project in Western Australia into a Power Purchase Agreement.
The PPA will see Zenith supply the project with electricity for a period of 15 years as part of a 95 MW hybrid power station setup at the mine.
Zenith has, since the signing of the Letter of Award, announced in September, progressed the planning, engineering and design works for the hybrid power station, including the order of long-lead items such as the wind turbines.
With 46 MW of emission-free power generation capacity, the 95 MW hybrid power station is currently expected to be one of the largest off-grid wind-solar-battery storage renewable energy facilities in the mining industry in Australia.
The thermal components are designed to operate in “engine off” mode at various times, enabling Liontown to operate from 100% renewable energy during periods of high wind and solar resource, the companies say.
The hybrid power station is expected to start up around the same time as the Kathleen Valley process plant is commissioned, currently slated for the first half of 2024.
The plant will include wind generation from five wind turbines each capable of generating 6 MW. A 16 MWp fixed axis solar photovoltaic array coupled to a 17 MW/19 MWh battery energy storage system will provide additional clean energy, supported by synchronous condensers that provide critical system stability and resilience, Zenith said. The thermal power component will comprise 27 MW of gas generation and 5 MW of diesel standby generation.
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.