WA Government to help fund clean energy projects at gold mines
The Western Australia Government has announced that two gold mining-related projects have been offered grants worth more than $2.6 million in the first round of the government’s $19 million Clean Energy Future Fund.
The government says the projects will create up to 400 jobs and generate 77,000 MWh of electricity each year — enough to save 53,000 tonnes of carbon emissions, which is equal to taking 17,000 cars off the road.
Nomadic Energy ($1 million) will install 5 MW of modular, redeployable solar panels at Saracen’s Carosue Dam gold mine. 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.
ResourcesWA ($1.6 million) will install 30 MW of solar power at the Homestead mine site in the Goldfields, supplying power to the Paddington Mill and Mungari Mill sites, along wth batteries at each of the mills (10 and 5 MW respectively, each with one hour’s storage) to reduce the impact of outages and support Western Power’s local substation.
“The Clean Energy Future Fund is an important part of the McGowan government’s commitment to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and supporting our state’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan,” said WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson.
“Nomadic Energy and ResourceWA were chosen for the high value they provide, their capacity to reduce emissions, potential for wider adoption, innovation and financial viability. These benefits will only increase further as these technologies are more widely adopted, and will also grow exponentially as the fund continues to support new, innovative clean energy projects.”
Projects to reduce the emissions of significant facilities in regional areas were prioritised in the first round, with the state government funding up to 25% of eligible project costs.
Applications for Round Two of the Clean Energy Future Fund will open on 25 January, with a total of up to $16 million available in the fund. Round Two will prioritise clean energy projects that reduce emissions, create jobs, improve security and reliability of supply, or support the replacement of diesel use. It will also prioritise projects that support decarbonisation of existing industry, develop new low-carbon industries, or enhance energy efficiency in manufacturing or the built environment.
The fund, administered by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation with support from Energy Policy WA, launched in April 2020.
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