Nomadic Energy’s five-megawatt solar installation at Northern Star’s Carosue Dam gold mine north-east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder is complete, generating clean energy for the mine 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.
The State Government said 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.
The State Government said 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 State Government said the project also used an innovative business model, where Nomadic Energy retained ownership of the solar system and contracts to supply energy to Northern Star.
This reduced complexity and risk for mine operators and facilitates redeployment.
The State Government said flexibility to redeploy the solar panels removed a key barrier to using green energy at mine sites, where a mine might cease operating before the cost of the solar panels has been recovered.
Climate Action Minister Reece Whitby said to meet the State’s net zero by 2050 target, projects such as the one at Carosue Dam that addressed challenging emissions sources with technologies having strong potential for wider adoption were needed.
“Each year, the Nomadic Energy project will displace 5621 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, equivalent to taking 1800 cars off the road,” he said.