IGO’s Nova mine in Western Australia has started using a 250kW sodium-sulfur battery as part of its plans to run the nickel-copper-cobalt operation off renewable power produced and stored on site.
Australia’s Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre (FBICRC) said the country’s first sodium-sulfur NAS battery had been working at Nova since February this year. It was supplied by BASF, said to have more than 250 operational NAS battery installations with about 5GWh of storage capacity.
IGO said early last year it was expanding the mine’s solar farm and investing in a 10MWh battery storage system. The combined solar and battery storage system, installed by Zenith Energy, would enable Nova to run “100% on renewable energy in an engines-off mode for nine consecutive hours over summer and spring”.
The mine, about 360km southeast of Kalgoorlie in the Fraser Range area, has 16.7MW of solar capacity and a 26MW hybrid solar PV-diesel power plant.
BASF says NAS batteries are designed for 6-8-hour energy storage applications and can “shift large quantities of energy into periods of low renewable generation”.
The demonstration battery’s performance is being assessed by the National Battery Testing Centre and University of Western Australia.
FBICRC CEO Shannon O’Rourke said: “These field deployments help build market confidence, train our workforce and build capability in the contracting community.”