APA Group has announced a two-phase power expansion agreement with Gruyere Gold Mine in Western Australia, which will increase total installed capacity by 45 per cent from 45 megawatts (MW) to 64MW.
The agreement includes the creation of the Gruyere Hybrid Energy Microgrid (Gruyere Microgrid) – APA’s first hybrid energy microgrid investment. Total capital expenditure for all expansion works will be approximately $38 million .
In the first phase of works, APA will expand the Gruyere Power Station with the installation of a 12th reciprocating gas-fired engine. Work is currently underway on this expansion, which is expected to be commissioned in mid-2021.
In the second phase, APA will build, own and operate a 13MWp solar farm backed-up by a 4.4MW/4.4MWh battery energy storage system.
APA’s microgrid will utilise a hybrid control system that combines cloud and weather forecasting, battery control and the existing reciprocating engine control systems to optimise efficiency and maximise the use of renewable generation.
The Gruyere Microgrid is expected to be commissioned in Q4 2021.
The overall blended carbon intensity of power supply to the Gruyere Gold Mine will be approximately 10 per cent lower with the microgrid expansion, combining energy security with emissions reduction.
The Gruyere Gold Mine is a 50:50 joint venture between the ASX listed Gold Road Resources Ltd (Gold Road) and Gruyere Mining Company Pty Ltd, a member of the global Gold Fields group (together, the Gruyere JV), and is an existing customer of APA for both gas transportation and gas power generation.
APA’s CEO and Managing Director, Rob Wheals, said the new Gruyere battery storage and microgrid project is an exciting first for APA.
“This project builds on our existing energy infrastructure footprint in the remote mining region of the northern Goldfields and will enable Gruyere JV to continue to unlock the potential of the Gruyere Gold Mine, while maintaining energy supply reliability through a sustainable power solution for the mine site operations,” Mr Wheals said.
“Consistent with our purpose to strengthen communities through responsible energy, we are delighted to be working with the Gruyere JV on this innovative energy solution.”
Once completed, APA will provide renewable energy supported by battery storage, underpinned by the reliability of gas-fired power to the Gruyere Gold Mine. Gas will continue to be supplied on a take-or-pay basis by APA’s interconnected gas pipeline network.
The Gruyere Power Station expansion follows APA’s recent announcement of the soon to be constructed Northern Gas Interconnect (NGI) pipeline that will create a WA Gas Grid which includes 2,690 kilometres of APA interconnected pipelines running north to south and west to east across the state.
 Includes capitalised interest.