Independence Group (IGO) has amended its power purchase agreement (PPA) with Zenith Energy to incorporate a solar photovoltaic (Solar PV) facility at the Nova nickel-copper-cobalt mine in the Fraser Range of Western Australia (WA).

With an estimated annual generation of 12.5GWh, the facility will allow IGO to meet the power needs of the mine.

Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, Zenith will build, own and operate a hybrid diesel/Solar PV power station, which will have an installed capacity of around 26MW.

The proposed Solar PV facility will add to the existing diesel power station operated by Zenith at the Nova operation.

IGO managing director Peter Bradford said: “At IGO we believe in the green energy future and are committed to renewable energy sources as we strive to reduce our carbon footprint.

“The development of this innovative hybrid energy solution will also improve our cost structure with targeted renewable power insertion of up to 50% of demand via the Solar PV facility.”

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By GlobalData

Zenith will install new PV modules, single axis tracking, inverters, communications and control system technology at the facility.

IFO noted that the hybrid power station will comprise diesel-fuelled generators and solar PV generation to promote environmental-friendly and cost-effective power generation.

“This development is a step forward in future renewable energy solutions.”

Zenith Energy managing director Hamish Moffat said: “This development represents the first fully integrated commercial hybrid diesel/Solar PV facility in Australia and is a step forward in future renewable energy solutions.”

The facility is expected to commence power supply to the Nova operation from the first quarter of the 2020 financial year for an initial period of six years. IGO has an option to extend the supply deal for an additional two years.

During this financial year, Nova produced 22,258t of nickel and 9,545t of copper.