Wind, solar and battery microgrid at W.A. gold mine an “Australian first”

An innovative renewable microgrid that will combine 18MW of wind with solar and battery storage to power a remote Western Australian gold mine has won $13.5 million in grant funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
The $13.5 million grant will go towards installing five wind turbines alongside the almost completed 4MW solar farm and 16MW gas engine power station. The 13MW/4MWh Kokam battery system is also being added at the same time as the wind component.

In a statement on Wednesday, ARENA said the project, which will power the Agnew Gold Mine owned by South Africa-based Gold Fields Group, marked the first time the Australian mining sector had used wind generation as part of a large hybrid microgrid.

The microgrid is being designed, built and will be owned and operated under a 10-year contract by distributed energy outfit EDL. The all-up cost, including gas and diesel and pipeline, is $112 million.

The combination of wind, solar and battery is expected to provide the mine with up to 60 per cent of its energy requirements, and – at times – will meet all of its power needs with renewables.

Gold Fields has also committed to use innovative operational practices including dynamic load shedding, renewable resource forecasting and IPP-controlled load management to maximise the use of renewables while ensuring system security.

“The project Gold Fields is undertaking will provide a blueprint for other companies to deploy similar off-grid energy solutions and demonstrate a pathway for commercialisation, helping to decarbonise the mining and resources sector,” said ARENA chief Darren Miller in a statement.


  1. It is great that renewable energy is being incorporated in this mine site but I do have a problem with the whole mining industry when the time comes to rehabilitate sites at the end of mine life. The Australian Outback will end up looking like a map of the Moon because companies don’t put money aside for rehabilitation. The dollar rules again at the expense of the Environment.

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