Nevada Vanadium Mining Corp recently selected Hitachi Energy, the global technology and market leader in power grids, to provide consulting services related to the development of a renewable energy supply for the planned Gibellini mine. Under the agreement, the two companies will work together to define the energy requirements for all mining operations at site, as the first phase in the development of a 100% renewable power supply to address the mine’s energy needs.
As part of the project, Hitachi Energy will collaborate closely with M3 Engineering & Technology, which is responsible for the overall design of the mine operation at Gibellini. The Hitachi Energy and M3 team work to ensure that the design of the required energy systems will provide safe and reliable power while enhancing overall project economics. Among the elements being examined as part of this collaboration are:
- The typical mine power profile;
- The instantaneous maximum equipment demands for normal, emergency, and transient operations;
- Supply power profiles, interconnection options, and general utility grid infrastructure capabilities;
- Utility required evaluations for interconnection;
- Utility required considerations for renewable, microgrid and storage facilities;
- Opportunities for CO2 equivalent emission reductions through electrification of emission sources; and
- Opportunities for partnerships with local stakeholders to provide sustainable energy to rural communities.
The Gibellini project is expected to be the first primary vanadium mining operation in the US, with the start of operations anticipate by 2024. Vanadium is listed as a critical mineral by the USGS due to the wide array of industrial uses, including national defense, aerospace, grid-scale energy storage, and rebar steel manufacturing. There is currently no primary domestic vanadium production in the US – China and Russia currently produce approximately 75% of the global supply of vanadium.
Over the past year, the US government has taken various steps to signal its commitment to the development of a secure and vibrant domestic supply of critical minerals needed to support efforts to modernise the nation’s infrastructure, build a more sustainable energy system and enhance national security. The Gibellini project aligns with these objectives.
Nevada Vanadium envisions the establishment of a microgrid and battery energy storage system, fed by solar energy produced at the site, to provide clean, reliable, around the clock, self-sufficient and cost-effective renewable energy to the mine. As part of the consulting scope, Hitachi Energy will explore requirements for the establishment of connections between the site and the local power grid. While the project is expected to be energy self-sufficient, links to the grid could enable the Company to deliver power to the grid, and potentially local communities, when production is high, while also offering a back-up power source to ensure reliable continuity of its operations.
“We have selected Hitachi Energy as a partner for this project because of their deep understanding of the power requirements of large-scale industrial operations, their extensive experience with the mining industry and their proven expertise in the integration of variable, renewable energy sources into power grids,” said Ron Espell, CEO of Nevada Vanadium. “Hitachi Energy also brings a wealth of knowledge about the design and deployment of microgrids and battery energy storage systems, which will be critical as we move into subsequent stages of this project.”