Australian minerals miner Syrah Resources Ltd (ASX:SYR) has reached a final investment decision (FID) on a project to install a 11.25-MWp solar farm with an 8.5-MW/MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) at its Balama graphite operation in Mozambique.
The move is rooted in the December 2020 memorandum of understanding that Syrah signed with solar and storage developer Solarcentury Africa to tackle the initiative. After that, the partners went on to finalise the design, engineering and procurement side of the project, select technology solutions and structure funding, Syrah said.
CrossBoundary Energy, an Africa-focused investment platform for renewables, will provide funding, and deliver the solar-plus-storage system via its Mozambique incorporated project company. That company will undertake the project under a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) arrangement, which includes a ten-year operating lease and an operation and maintenance contract. After the end of the ten-year BOOT term, the hybrid system will be transferred to Syrah at no cost, the miner said.
Solarcentury Africa worked with Syrah during the permitting stages of the project, and will continue to cooperate with Syrah and CBE through construction, installation and up to commercial operation.
The new solar-plus-storage system is expected to start operating before the end of the March 2023 quarter, Syrah said.
Once online, the hybrid plant will be capable of meeting some 35% of Balama site’s power needs on average, and up to 100% during peak daylight times. At present, Balama’s operations are powered only by a 15-MW on-site diesel generation plant, which Syrah fully owns and operates. The lack of nearby high-voltage transmission network prevents Balama from using grid electricity, the mining company added.
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