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The Granny Smith gold mine in Western Australia.

Gold Fields has partnered with energy services company Aggreko to install a renewable energy microgrid at the Granny Smith gold mine in Western Australia.

The hybrid power system, which uses solar, thermal and battery storage, is one of the world’s largest renewable energy grid and uses over 20,000 solar panels alongside a two megawatt battery system.

It is expected to reduce the mine’s fuel consumption by 10 to 13 per cent, producing around 18 gigawatt hours of energy per year while cutting carbon emissions by 9500 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

The sustainable solution will be installed in an existing gas fired power station at the mine.

Gold Fields executive vice president Australasia Stuart Mathews said the company is aiming to reduce its carbon footprint globally.

“Here in Australia and globally our company is committed to addressing climate change impacts by transitioning towards an energy mix that increasingly embraces renewables and lower carbon fuel sources,” he said.

“The Granny Smith microgrid is a clear demonstration of the innovative steps we are taking to ensure the ongoing sustainability of our operations.”

The solar cells will reduce the mine’s use of thermal generators and the battery plant will support essential services including solar photovoltaic (PV) ramp rate control and voltage.

The system will adopt Aggreko’s control software platform which has predictive maintenance capabilities.

“Demand for decentralised energy solutions has skyrocketed over the past few years as companies look past the grid for power solutions to help them meet their unique needs,” Aggreko’s AusPac managing director George Whyte said.

“The hybrid assets we’ve delivered for the Granny Smith mine will help Gold Fields reduce operating costs and carbon emissions with the flexibility and capital expenditure savings that comes with rental solutions.

“We’re pleased to have completed the installation of one of the world’s largest microgrids and look forward to continuing to partner with Gold Fields to deliver greener, cheaper and more efficient power for the Granny Smith mine in the years to come.”