Media Release: GBM Gold Announces 60MW Solar Power Plant at Woodvale Evaporation Ponds
- 60MW Solar Project planned to be developed at Woodvale 10km north of Bendigo
- Project to produce emissions-free, renewable energy to meet the electricity needs of thousands of Bendigo homes
- Unique characteristics of the Woodvale Evaporation Pond Complex make it a compelling candidate for a Solar Power Project
- Project repurposes redundant evaporation ponds
- Large-scale project improving Bendigo’s resiliency to electricity grid problems
- Opportunity to alleviate local transmission and distribution network constraints
- Project in alignment with state and local renewable policy objectives
GBM Gold Limited (ASX: GBM) (“GBM Gold”) is pleased to announce plans to develop a 60MW Solar Project on the Woodvale Evaporation Pond Complex site. The Woodvale Complex comprises a facility of multiple evaporation ponds where groundwater was historically pumped as part of gold mining activities and associated dewatering processes. The project will repurpose the ponds as a solar power plant of 60MW capacity. This is an ideal reuse of a redundant facility as the ponds enjoy excellent sun exposure, are not readily visible to adjacent residences and are located close to where the power is needed.
The City of Greater Bendigo has a goal of 100 per cent renewable energy generation from local and regional sources. The Woodvale Solar Project has the potential to be a significant step towards achieving that goal.
The solar power project is planned to be connected to the sub-transmission network in Bendigo via a 66kV power line and will tie into a new sub-station situated on rehabilitated Ponds 4 and 5 at Woodvale. Powercor advised that the Woodvale Solar Power Project may be connected to the existing BETS-EHK 66kV line. This is a very promising outcome as grid connection is often one of the most costly and difficult aspects of power projects.
This project could provide significant long-term environmental and economic benefits for the Bendigo community with an improvement in energy security and an estimated 100 jobs created during construction.
Woodvale – 60MW Solar Project
The Woodvale Evaporation Pond Complex is located approximately 10km north of Bendigo. The facility covers approximately 174 hectares of freehold land owned by GBM Gold. The ponds were constructed to evaporate water from underground mining operations in Bendigo. Woodvale was operational until 2016 when a decision was made to process groundwater through a water treatment plant, making the site redundant. It was planned to return the site to agricultural land use. Construction of a Solar Power Project, as an alternative, can be implemented in a short timeframe giving immediate benefit to the entire Bendigo region.
The Company will involve the local Community in further development of the solar project and will continue to engage as the project progresses through the approval process with the City of Greater Bendigo and subsequent construction phase.
Woodvale Evaporation Pond Complex
The implementation of the solar project will utilise Ponds 1A, 1B, 2, 3, 6 and 7 along with existing infrastructure at the Woodvale site (see figure below). Pond 1A will be retained as a pond and operate as floating solar, enabling containment of rainfall on the site. Ponds 1B, 2, 3 and 7 will have spillways removed so that they do not retain water. A standard solar system will be installed on these ponds.
GBM Gold subsidiary, Kralcopic Pty Ltd is the registered holder of Mining Licence MIN5364 for the operation of the Woodvale Evaporation Facility. Kralcopic has prepared a rehabilitation plan in accordance with the Mineral Resource Development Act (Victoria). The approved rehabilitation work plan envisages a deep fill zone in Pond 6.
The plan encompasses the elements required to re-instigate the ponds for a solar complex: –
- Removal of contaminants (salts and metals) from the base of the Ponds 1, 2, 3 and 7;
- Removal of seven stockpiles from a previous reconstruction of Ponds 1, 2 and 3; and
- Disposal of the material from Ponds 1, 2, 3 and 7, and the stockpiles to a repository in the floor of Pond 6 in accordance with the current work plan for the mining licence.
A level area similar to Ponds 1-3 will be created in Pond 6 making it more suitable for the installation of Solar Panels. The work required to prepare the complex for the development of a solar project retains the extensive infrastructure on the site.
Woodvale Ponds 1 to 7
The ponds are designed to maximise the amount of sunlight impinging on them with only screening around the property.
Bund walls screen the ponds with vegetation on the sides
The solar project will be connected to the sub-transmission network in Bendigo via a 66kV power line. The 66 kV sub-transmission loop for Bendigo is planned to connect to the grid at the Eaglehawk Zone Substation. The new sub-station for Woodvale will be located on the rehabilitated Ponds 4 and 5 area.
The Woodvale Solar Project, will provide sustainable and reliable energy security for the City of Greater Bendigo, providing environmental and economic benefits to the region as a significant contributor to the electricity supply for Bendigo.
For further information please contact:
John Harrison, CEO and Director
GBM Gold Limited
T: +613 5445 2300
E: [email protected]
Rod North, Managing Director
Bourse Communications Pty Ltd
T: +613 9510 8309, M: +61 408 670 706
E: [email protected]
About GBM Gold
GBM Gold is a gold focused mining and exploration company with mining and exploration assets located one of Australia’s most significant gold producing regions; the Central Victorian Goldfields.
GBM Gold purchased the Bendigo Goldfield, Australia’s second largest goldfield. The Company is targeting projects to develop long term sustainable mining to fund the Company’s growth. Recent work has centred on the Bendigo Goldfield and the Harvest Home deposit located north-east of Dunolly in the Golden Triangle area of Central Victoria. Harvest Home, in which GBM has a 50% equity interest, and the adjacent Queen’s Birthday will continue to be developed together with tailings projects on the Bendigo Goldfield.
For more information please visit: www.gbmgold.com.au