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    Pacific Energy awarded contract to integrate 62MW of clean energy at Tropicana gold mine

    Pacific Energy has been granted the contract to incorporate 62MW of environmentally friendly energy into its existing 54MW gas-powered system at the Tropicana gold mine, situated 330km northeast of Kalgoorlie in remote Western Australia.


    The expansion will involve the installation of four 6MW wind turbines, a 24MW solar farm, and a 14MW battery storage system (BESS).


    Pacific Energy has developed an in-house intelligent control system for the integrated power facility, which will optimize the utilization of renewable energy and storage technologies. This system will enable the facility to operate without relying on hydrocarbons for extended periods. The implementation of the renewable energy expansion will be carried out through a 10-year build-own-operate agreement.


    Upon completion, the power station will have a capacity of 116MW, making it the largest off-grid hybrid investment in Pacific Energy’s portfolio. Additionally, at the time of the contract, it will be the largest off-grid gas-wind-solar-battery storage facility in the Australian resources sector.


    The Tropicana gold mine is jointly owned by AngloGold Ashanti Australia Ltd (70% and manager) and Regis Resources Ltd (30%).


    Pacific Energy has designed the new system to align with AngloGold Ashanti’s objective of reducing its global net carbon emissions from energy usage by 30% by 2030, as part of its long-term plan to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.


    In summary, the integration of renewable energy is expected to substantially reduce the gold mine’s consumption of diesel and gas for power generation, resulting in a 96% and 50% decrease respectively. This will lead to a significant reduction of approximately 65,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year throughout the duration of the agreement.


    Jamie Cullen, Pacific Energy chief executive, said “This is an excellent outcome for our long-time client, AngloGold Ashanti.”


    “We’ve been on the journey with them since 2012 and are incredibly pleased to apply proven global technologies and our in-house expertise to help decarbonise their operations without losing power reliability or efficiency.”


    “To date, we are the only operator to successfully supply hydrocarbons-free power to mine sites in Australia.”


    “We expect our new system to reduce the mine site’s overall power generation emissions by 50%.


    “It’s a really exciting prospect for us and AngloGold Ashanti, and one we’ve worked hard to achieve on our client’s behalf.”


    The coordination of the project, intended to be the most distant large-scale hybrid power system in Australia, will be managed by Pacific Energy’s Remote Energy and Integrated Renewables divisions.


    To make the most of its comprehensive capabilities, the company will utilize its in-house facilities in Western Australia to manufacture the Battery Energy Storage System, high-voltage switch room, and PV ring main units.


    Site preparations for the project are expected to commence in July of this year, and the project is scheduled to be finished by early 2025.


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