Remote Sites

The current global environment requires a new approach to how mining companies look at the way energy is being delivered to mine sites. In the past, remote sites were powered by coal fired or based on diesel fired power stations. Renewable energy technology for lowering carbon emissions, whilst optimising energy costs, is becoming an attractive trend for how modern mine sites operate. This follows the Kyoto Protocol that bases its commitment to limit and reduce its greenhouse gasses in industrialised countries as a response to climate change.

Renewable energy is produced from our planet’s natural resources. Energy such as solar, wind, biomass, hydropower, ocean, and geothermal require many different technologies to constantly generate and store electricity. One of the most widely used methods of energy collection is solar panels.

The renewable energy microgrid includes solar and wind energy that is harvested for the use of electricity. The electricity is stored in batteries and is used in supplement for added security to the gas engine power station. Solar panels paired with wind turbines is an effective way to maintain a reliable energy supply, as the wind does not blow all the time, nor is there constant solar energy occurring between cloudy and non-cloudy days.

Solar panel farms have been used on several mining projects such as Sandfire Resource’s DeGrussa Copper-Gold mine, Oz Minerals West Musgrave nickel project, Rio Tinto’s Koodaideri iron ore mine, Rio Tinto’s Weipa bauxite plant and Agnew gold mine in order to save the use of diesel and ultimately reducing the amount of carbon emissions.

Microgrid technology is another example of renewable energy technology. Microgrids are used to accurately predict when and where electricity is required. These types of technologies are vital towards the 24/7 demands of mine site operations.