APA Group has launched a two-phased power expansion agreement with Western Australia’s Gruyere Gold Mine, to increase total installed capacity from 45MW to 64MW and build a hybrid microgrid.
The creation of the Gruyere Hybrid Energy Microgrid (Gruyere Microgrid) will be APA’s first hybrid energy microgrid investment.
Total capital expenditure for all expansion works will be approximately $38 million.
In the first phase of works, APA will expand the Gruyere Power Station with the installation of a twelfth reciprocating gas fired engine.
Work is currently underway on this expansion, which is expected to be commissioned in mid-2021.
In the second phase, APA will build, own and operate a 13MW solar farm backed-up by a 4.4MW/4.4MWh battery energy storage system. APA’s microgrid will utilise a hybrid control system that combines cloud and weather forecasting, battery control and the existing reciprocating engine control systems to optimise efficiency and maximise the use of renewable generation.
The Gruyere Microgrid is expected to be commissioned in Q4 2021.
The overall blended carbon intensity of power supply to the Gruyere Gold Mine will be approximately ten per cent lower with the microgrid expansion, combining energy security with emissions reduction.
The Gruyere Gold Mine is a 50:50 joint venture between the ASX-listed Gold Road Resources Ltd and Gruyere Mining Company, a member of the global Gold Fields group (together, Gruyere JV), and is an existing customer of APA for both gas transportation and gas power generation.
Rob Wheals, APA’s CEO and Managing Director, said, “This new Gruyere battery storage and microgrid project is an exciting first for APA, demonstrating our ability to respond to the needs of our customers with world-class energy solutions.
“This project builds on our existing energy infrastructure footprint in the remote mining region of the northern Goldfields and will enable Gruyere JV to continue to unlock the potential of the Gruyere Gold Mine, while maintaining energy supply reliability through a sustainable power solution for the mine site operations.
“Consistent with our purpose to strengthen communities through responsible energy, we are delighted to be working with the Gruyere JV on this innovative energy solution.”
When completed, APA will provide renewable energy supported by battery storage, underpinned by the reliability of gas-fired power to the Gruyere Gold Mine. Gas will continue to be supplied on a take-or-pay basis by APA’s interconnected gas pipeline network.
The Gruyere Power Station expansion complements APA’s recent announcement of the soon to be constructed Northern Gas Interconnect (NGI) pipeline that will create a WA Gas Grid which includes 2,690km of APA interconnected pipelines running north to south and west to east across the state.
The ability to flexibly and seamlessly move gas around Western Australian from multiple gas supply basins will give customers increased gas supply options and security of supply. The WA Gas Grid will stimulate significant economic development in Western Australia through new mining investments and thousands of jobs.