The Nova Nickel Mine is located in the Fraser Range, 380 km from the Port of Esperance and was commenced in 2015

Project Background

The Nova Nickel Mine is located in the Fraser Range, 380 km from the Port of Esperance and was commenced in 2015

The operation is 100% owned by IGO, an ASX listed mining and exploration company that produces gold, nickel, and copper operations

Zeniths initial power generation solution at Nova was a 19MW diesel station which included:

  • 5 x 3MW Medium Speed Diesel Generating Sets
  • 3x 1.7 MW High Speed Diesel Generating Sets

Renewable Integration

In 2019 Zenith commissioned a 5.5MW PV solar power station to operate in parallel with the existing 19MW diesel fueled power station at Nova.

The solar power was designed to seamlessly integrate with the existing power station, using a control system designed to maximise the use of renewable energy while providing reliable and consistent power – a testament to the innovation and control systems capability of Zenith Energy’s engineers.

The system uses Zenith’s state-of-the-art cloud prediction and integration technology in order to predict cloud cover events. When large cloud coverage is predicted, the thermal generation is increased to offset the decrease in solar irradiation.

The numbers behind this system:

  • 11GWh per year in the first 3 years of operation
  • 3 million litres less diesel per year
  • 8,100 tonnes per year fewer CO2emissions per annum

How Zenith is Leading the Sector

Zenith and IGO are continuing their efforts to reduce emissions at the Nova operation by optimising the system to enable “Engine Off”.

This innovation will allow for diesel generation to be turned off and replaced with either stored or generated renewable capacity for significant periods during daylight hours. This is an industry first.

To achieve Engine Off, Zenith will install the following:

  • Additional 10.2MW of relocatable solar to enable renewable generation in excess of 100% of site demand
  • BESS system to provide smoothing during clouding events and capture additional solar spill where possible
  • Synchronous Condensers to provide grid forming and reactive support

“It’s an important next step on the journey to Net Zero. It will set a new industry benchmark in terms of renewable energy integration, and reduction of emissions at mine sites. It sends a message to the industry that powering an entire site 100% with renewables is possible today.”

IGO Chief Operating Officer, Matt Dusci


Project Updates

Project name

Fraser Range, WA

35 MW
Energy source
BESS, Diesel, Solar PV