Nomadic Energy’s five megawatts of solar installation at Northern Star’s Carosue Dam gold mine near Kalgoorlie in Western Australia is complete, generating clean energy and reducing emissions by displacing diesel and natural gas use.
The project was a recipient of $1 million in the first round of the State Government’s Clean Energy Future Fund, which supports innovative clean energy projects and technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Nomadic Energy used the funding to employ an innovative Maverick mounting system from Australian company 5B, which deploys solar panels in a concertina pattern that creates alternating east and west facing panels.
The resulting structure is quicker and more cost effective to deploy.
During the final phase of installation, Nomadic Energy installed and commissioned two megawatts of generating capacity in under three weeks. This included a record 600 kilowatt of solar capacity deployed in a single day by a team of just four people.
The project also uses an innovative business model, where Nomadic Energy retains ownership of the solar system and contracts to supply energy to Northern Star. This reduces complexity and risk for mine operators and facilitates redeployment.
The flexibility to redeploy the solar panels removes a key barrier to using green energy at mine sites, where a mine may cease operating before the cost of the solar panels has been recovered.
The $19 million Clean Energy Future Fund is administered by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, with support from Energy Policy WA.
Two rounds of funding have been awarded since its launch in April 2020, providing $14 million to nine innovative projects across Western Australia.
The seven Round 2 projects are expected to create hundreds of jobs and avoid over two million tonnes of carbon emissions over their working lives, rising to over 120 million tonnes if the two pilot projects result in commercial scale deployment.