EDL to develop solar facility at Queensland mine

Energy Developments Pty Ltd (EDL) has signed a 14-year extension of its contract to supply electricity at South32’s Cannington silver, lead and zinc mine in North Queensland.

As part of the contract extension, electricity from a new 3MW solar photovoltaic (PV) facility will be integrated with EDL’s existing 40MW power station at the mine.

The solar PV facility will be the second largest installed at a remote mine in Australia and the first in the country to be integrated with a gas-fired power station.

EDL chief executive officer James Harman said the contract extension was a testament to the company’s unwavering focus on service delivery and innovation.

“Energy Developments is a global leader in the provision of sustainable distributed energy solutions in Australia and around the world,” he said.

“We are very pleased to build on and extend our relationship with South32 at Cannington.

“We have been providing electricity at Cannington since the mine commenced production in 1997 and this extension to 2032 will deliver long-term financial, operational and environmental benefits to both companies.

“EDL is proud to play a key role in reliably delivering safe, clean and efficient energy to Australia’s mining sector and the provision of solar-generated electricity at Cannington adds to our growing footprint in this vital area.”

Construction of the solar PV facility has commenced and it is expected to be fully operational in the third quarter of 2018.

It will be largely pre-fabricated to facilitate rapid construction and ease of expansion.

Once complete, the solar PV facility will cover an area equivalent to six football fields.

The solar PV facility will be built and owned by SunSHIFT, which has created the world’s first pre-fabricated, modular and moveable solar plant for large-scale on-grid and off-grid electricity generation.

SunSHIFT general manager Dr Will Rayward-Smith said the company was delighted to be working with EDL at South32’s Cannington mine.

“We have commercialised large-scale, modular and moveable solar PV technology to provide the mining sector with access to low-cost renewable energy,” Dr Rayward-Smith said.

“We encourage miners to take a low-risk path to hybridisation with a low-penetration solar PV installation and, over time, consider expanding capacity and introducing energy storage.”

The success of the Cannington solar PV project will be bolstered by EDL’s experience delivering renewable energy solutions in some of Australia’s most remote areas.

Most recently EDL completed the development of a landmark hybrid solar, wind, battery and diesel project in the South Australian outback town of Coober Pedy.