247Solar – Hybrid-renewable energy grid for mining & local community (Australia)
Who, What & Where
- Hybrid-renewable energy grid for mining & local community
- Queensland, Australia
247Solar Plants are a turnkey solution for producing baseload, clean electricity around the clock. They eliminate most disadvantages of conventional CSP, PV, wind, and traditional power technologies with a hot-air-driven Brayton Cycle system that operates at atmospheric pressure and requires no steam, molten salts, or heat transfer oils.
The project is situated close to an aboriginal community in Queensland, Australia. The main energy source of mine and local community before the DRE system intervention was on-grid and expensive diesel. The total estimated demand is 8 MW across all 4 sites based on a preliminary feasibility study completed in Q4, 2020. The challenges are time and patience needed to engage fully with the local aboriginal community to win trust and respect, training and upgrading skills of the local aboriginal community, and workforce retention.
The renewable plant will feed 100% of the mine’s electricity demand, its campsite, and an export jetty. Additionally, the grid will meet 50% of the community’s electricity demand with renewable power, sourced from the microgrid. Investing and developing a local school to improve local community pride and sense of ownership in a better-integrated mix population community is also aimed.
Project Financing and Costs
The project is to be financed by the Queensland government, Federal government (ARENA) and through other equity.
Queensland State Government:
- Grant of up to EUR 1,600,000
- Loan of up to EUR 1,600,000
- Other financial assistance: up to EUR 300,000 (local employment)
Australian Federal Government:
- Loan of up to EUR 5,000,000 (ARENA)
- Reduced carbon footprint of 90%.
- Reduced cost of energy (power & heat) of 25%.
- Local employment creation for an estimated 350 persons across all 3 mining-related sites and the community township.
- Enhanced relationship and partnership with the local community.
- Leading showcase example in Australia for how local communities consisting of diverse populations (13 different aboriginal clans and other Australians) can live, work and prosper together.