Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS) is embracing solar power at its 100%-owned Pilgangoora Lithium Project near Port Hedland, inking a 15-year agreement with Contract Power to install and operate a 6MW solar array.
The company estimates that the array will replace 3.8 million litres of annual diesel fuel usage, reducing CO2 emissions by an estimated 9,900 tonnes over the agreement period.
The project will be designed to allow for future capacity expansion, with an option to include battery storage.
Pilbara Minerals notes that it holds an option to purchase the array infrastructure, which will initially be owned by Contract Power.
The news comes as part of Pilbara Minerals’ goal of achieving net-zero scope 1 and scope 2 emissions during between 2040-2050.
The company reports that Contract Power was chosen as the project partner due to their strong track record in design, delivery and safety, with energy projects previously delivered for Fortescue Metals at Christmas Creek, Mineral Resources at Wodgina, and OZ Minerals at Prominent Hill.
The initiative is a collaboration between Pilbara Minerals and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, an Australian Government-owned ‘green bank’ charged with facilitating an increase in finance available for the clean energy sector.
The company further notes that it will seek long-term efficiencies through the creation of a local power network that will be used to connect the Ngungaju and Pilgan Plants along with the Carlindi camp.
Work on the project is expected to continue through until late July 2022, with commercial operations commencing in August 2022.