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Gold Fields mine to save R120m a year on Eskom bills with solar plant

5 May 2021 7:15 PM
Tags:
Eskom
Mining
Mining industry
Electricity
Load shedding
The Money Show
Power cuts
Solar energy
Solar power
Renewable energy
Bruce Whitfield
Gold Fields
South Deep Gold Mine
South Deep
Martin Preece
South Deep mine

The Gold Fields board has greenlighted the R660m project. Bruce Whitfield interviews Martin Preece, Executive VP: South Africa.

The board of Gold Fields has approved the construction of a R660 million solar plant at its mine in Carletonville, Gauteng.

Deep South is the the gold mining company's last remaining operation in the country.

The envisaged 40MW solar array will replace a fifth of the electricity it sources from Eskom.

Gold Fields says this means a saving of around R120 million a year on the cost of electricity.

RELATED: Eskom CEO wants barriers to commercial solar power use eased, so why the delay?

The company was granted a license by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) on 25 February and expects the solar plant to be commissioned in Q2 2022.

RELATED: 'Eskom CEO pleaded with Govt on record to allow people to feed power into grid'

Bruce Whitfield gets more detail from Martin Preece, Gold Fields' Executive Vice President for South Africa.

We're predicting we'll save - at today's rates - R120 million a year on our electricity bill. That's the initial saving.

Martin Preece, Executive Vice President: SA - Gold Fields

The other is the opportunity lost when we can't operate because of load curtailment.

Martin Preece, Executive Vice President: SA - Gold Fields

Preece describes the scale of the solar project.

The footprint of the solar project is actually larger than the current mining complex footprint... It's [the size of] about 200 soccer fields... 116,000 panels.

Martin Preece, Executive Vice President: SA - Gold Fields

The team started breaking ground this morning... We are going to try and give it our best shot to beat that schedule of Quarter 2 next year.

Martin Preece, Executive Vice President: SA - Gold Fields

We're going to start at 40MW, see how it goes and then engage with the regulator and see if there's an opportunity to expand on that.

Martin Preece, Executive Vice President: SA - Gold Fields

We've considered batteries but we can't do the economics yet. The cost of the batteries vs the benefit we can't justify yet, but as technology evolves they'll become more affordable and more efficient.

Martin Preece, Executive Vice President: SA - Gold Fields

Listen to the full interview below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Gold Fields mine to save R120m a year on Eskom bills with solar plant




5 May 2021 7:15 PM
Tags:
Eskom
Mining
Mining industry
Electricity
Load shedding
The Money Show
Power cuts
Solar energy
Solar power
Renewable energy
Bruce Whitfield
Gold Fields
South Deep Gold Mine
South Deep
Martin Preece
South Deep mine

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