This week Aggreko said it signed an agreement with Gold Fields Australia (Gold Fields) to design, build and operate a hybrid renewable-energy-plus-battery-storage system at the Granny Smith gold mine in Western Australia. The system, one of the world’s largest hybrid off-grid microgrids according to Aggreko, will comprise 8 MW of solar power generation capacity plus 2-MW/1-MWh battery system, integrated with 24.2 MW of existing natural-gas generation. Construction is expected to begin in May and be completed by year-end.
The solar, thermal and battery storage assets will managed by Aggreko’s control software platform and the solar-plus-battery system is projected to reduce fuel consumption by 10-13 percent, said the company, and produce about 18 GWh of clean energy per year.
While the solar PV will reduce the need to run thermal generators, the battery plant will provide essential services such as spinning reserve displacement, PV ramp rate control and transient voltage/frequency support. The project will be covered under a single as-a-service rental contract with no capital outlay from Gold Fields, eliminating technology risk, increasing flexibility, and ensuring performance accountability.
“The Granny Smith power station is a flagship example of what can be done with advanced technologies, intelligent engineering, and a committed, innovation-minded customer,” said Karim Wazni, Managing Director of Aggreko’s Microgrid and Storage Solutions business unit.