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.
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.
- Khanyisa means Light Up in Setswana. The name was chosen by the people of South Deep.
- Electricity currently comprises 10% of South Deep's annual cost.
- Electricity currently comprises 93% of South Deep's carbon emissions.
- The solar plant will result in annual savings of R123 million (24% of electricity costs) and will reduce our carbon emissions by over 110,000 tonnes.
- The plant covers an area of 105ha (roughly 200 soccer fields).
- If we assume that a household makes use of a 10KW system, the Khanyisa solar plant would be able to power 5,000 houses.
- If all the solar panels were lined up next to each other end to end on the short side it would cover a distance of 115km. Traveling at 115km/h it would take a full hour to drive the length of the panels lined up next to each other. If all the solar panels were lined up next to each other end to end on the long side it would cover a distance of 230km. Traveling at 115km/h it would take two hours to drive the length of the panels lined up next to each other.
- With two solar panels per length of structure if all the structures were lined up next to each other end to end it would cover a distance of 64km. This is roughly the distance from Johannesburg to South Deep.