Australia’s largest off grid wind farm has officially opened.

In a statement released last week, APA Group said that its Dugald River Solar Farm is now in operation.

Located in North West Queensland near Mt Isa, the 88-megawatt farm will support the operations of MMG’s Dugald River zinc mine north-west of Cloncurry; a copper, lead, zinc and silver mine operated by Mount Isa Mines; and the zinc, lead and silver mine operated by New Century.

The solar farm will support these mining operations along with gas that will be supplied to firm the solar energy by APA’s nearby Diamantina Power Station.

With its 184,000 panels covering an area 65 times the Gabba playing surface in Brisbane, the new farm is claimed by APA to be the largest solar farm in Australia that is not connected to either the National Electricity Market or the Southwest Interconnected System in Western Australia.

For APA, the opening of the farm represents an important milestone in its efforts to assist the Australian resources sector to decarbonise its operations.

It has also made substantial investments in Western Australia’s Pilbara regions and hopes to play a critical role in helping to decarbonise Australia’s resources industry in WA – which has one of the world’s largest deposits of iron ore and large stockpiles of critical minerals such as nickel and lithium.

The new wind farm takes over from the 60MW Chichester solar facility which powers Fortescue Metal’s iron ore mines in the Pilbara as Australia’s largest remote grid wind farm.

However, it may not hold that title for long as other, larger solar facilities are in planning.

One of these is a 100MW solar farm being constructed to Fortescue to power another of its huge iron ore mines in the Pilbara.


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