- With construction of the 50MW Khanyisa solar plant completed, South Deep is in the process of finalising the commissioning and optimising of the plant.
- The commissioning process involves balancing supply and demand of self-generated electricity to fully optimise the plant and ensure maximum benefit.
- Khanyisa means ‘Light Up’ in Setswana.
- The name was chosen by the people of South Deep.
The South Deep Khanyisa solar plant with the Twin Shafts in the background
The R715m solar plant will enhance the sustainability of South Deep and contribute to Gold Fields’ long-term commitment to Net Zero. South Deep currently consumes around 494GWH of electricity per year which represents 10% of the mine’s annual costs and 93% of its carbon emissions. The solar plant can generate 50MW or 103GWh/year.
This will have major benefits for the social and economic sustainability of South Deep, and mitigate negative impacts on the environment by:
- Significantly reducing the mine’s carbon footprint by around 110,000 tonnes of CO2/year.
- Reducing reliance on the erratic national grid.
- Dramatically lowering energy costs, saving around R123m, or 24%, of electricity costs/year.
In time, the Khanyisa solar plant’s capacity will increase to 60MW, unlocking even further benefits.
Said Martin Preece, Executive Vice President Gold Fields South Africa: “Not only will the solar plant result in electricity cost savings and reduce our reliance on the erratic national grid, but it will also help to mitigate our impact on climate change. Decarbonisation is vital and the right thing to do. We want to be a part of the solution and will continue to drive energy efficiency initiatives; replace grid power with renewables such as solar, and wind; and replace our diesel fleet with battery electric vehicles over time.
“South Deep has made significant strides towards delivering sustainable performance, and we will continue to work towards positioning our mine for the future for our people, our communities, our stakeholders and our shareholders,” he concluded.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal