Remote, energy-intensive and fuel-dependent mine owners are dealing with high energy costs as a result of mining operations for a myriad of practical applications and infrastructure development, plus meeting global commodity demand. The active adoption of clean energy solutions utilising greater amounts of renewable energy to dramatically reduce energy costs and dependence on heavy fuel power generation offers a largely untapped reliable energy alternative for the mining sector.
Mining operations have a vast range of electricity needs – from small remote monitoring units to powering large site camps. The challenges and costs of meeting electricity requirements in remote locations and challenging environments from diesel generators or remote power grids are becoming less financially viable.
The evolution of renewable energy generators, in particular, solar energy combined with battery storage, opens up new opportunities in power generation and supply that are not only highly cost-effective, but also improve site self-sufficiency and environmental outcomes.
Every underground mining operation requires backup generators either as main electricity resource or in case of utility power outages. Diesel generators are able supply mines with a reliable constant power source around the clock that other sources such as wind or solar cannot due to their variable output. Diesel generators do have their consequences, operating costs and complexities, carbon pollution and reliance on imported diesel fuel.
Mining operations are known to be mostly in remote locations far away from populated areas and as such at the far end of utility transmission or distribution lines. Storms cased lightnings, tree branches touching power lines, equipment failures or broken hydro poles contribute to power outages. Sometimes, mines also struggle with power quality and capacity issues at the end of long overhead transmission lines.
The mine of the future will be electrified and digitalized, realizing a range of benefits ranging from lower emissions and improved working environments to greater productivity and cost savings. Reaching the full potential of electrification and meeting customers’ needs will require rethinking the fundamentals of mine electric power system design.
ProWatts Energy has a proud track record for providing reliable power solutions to the mining industry. Our BESS unit can be installed inside existing facilities, or as a containerized solution as a drop-in replacement for existing electrical supply systems. In combination with renewable energy resources, diesel generators, EV chargers, and controlled by a Microgrid Energy Management System can be adapted to meet the mining industry’s unique electricity needs and almost any other power requirement across the mining spectrum.