Renewable energy penetration is set to increase on major mine-sites in the Goldfields and Pilbara regions, after one of Australia’s leading independent power producers signs a deployment agreement with a clean energy technology provider.

Zenith Energy and 5B have signed an Ecosystem Framework Agreement-Deployment (ESAD), permitting Zenith to be a deployment partner of the 5B Maverick system within Australia.

The 5B Maverick system solar array is prefabricated, allowing rapid deployment and increasing the ability of Zenith to expand renewable assets across existing and future sites.

Managing Director Hamish Moffat said it’s the next step in reducing emissions across Zenith’s legacy portfolio.

“We’ve been looking to increase renewable assets across multiple sites for some time, the question has always been around how we can achieve that in such a way that is economically viable.”

“The 5B Maverick system is re-deployable, meaning it can be integrated on mines with shorter tenure, and moved at the end of operations at those sites.”

“It offers Zenith greater ability to leverage value from our initial capital expenditure, making it more cost effective to offer expanded renewable energy solutions for our clients.”

5B Co-Founder and CEO Chris McGrath said the strategic partnership is an important validation of 5B Maverick’s ability to reduce deployment complexity.

“This has been a major barrier for solar installations on mine sites worldwide.”

“The agreement also shows that our cost reduction efforts over the past two years have worked – we’ve hit the price point where 5B Mavericks can be viably packed up, and redeployed elsewhere, substantially reducing the risk of stranded assets in mining, agricultural and industrial operations.”

Mr Moffat said Zenith is looking to integrate the 5B Maverick system across three sites initially;

  • Nova: The 5B Maverick will play a major role in Zenith’s industry first ‘engine-off’ project at IGO’s Nova nickel mine, allowing the site to operate on up to nine consecutive hours of renewable energy through the installation of an extra 10MW of solar, and a 10MW Battery Energy Storage System.
  • Warrawoona: Zenith recently committed to the supply, installation, and commissioning of a 4MW DC Solar Farm, using the 5B Maverick, as well as a 3MW/3MWh AC Battery Energy Storage System. The hybrid power station configuration will reduce gas use, which in turn results in a reduction in emissions.
  • King of The Hill: Work is currently underway to install 2MW of 5B Maverick on the Red 5 site, also supported by a Battery Energy Storage System.

Mr Moffat said the 5B agreement is another key milestone on our journey toward Net Zero.

“Our 2035 Net Zero target strikes a balance between ambition and ability to achieve, with the 5B partnership a clear demonstration of our progress and commitment to this goal.”

Mr McGrath said 5B was keen to partner with Zenith, given the IPP’s strong reputation and credibility in providing renewable energy solutions to the mining and resources industry.

“We’re keen to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with like-minded companies, and Zenith definitely fits the bill.”

“It is great to see Zenith leveraging the ability of the 5B Maverick solar arrays to deploy up to 10 times faster, more safely than single axis tracker and fixed tilt solar systems, to deliver a full solution for their customers.”

Mr Moffat said the partnership offers both Zenith and 5B the opportunity to continue to lead the industry, demonstrating the ability and capacity to effectively integrate renewable energy solutions.

“We have continually said we want to be part of the renewable solution, not just by developing the concepts needed, but by also actively deploying and proving the technology.”

“The partnership with 5B allows us to do this and continue to bring our clients on the glide path to Net Zero.”