Tag Archives: Hitachi Energy

Hitachi Energy and BluVein to combine technologies in electrification MoU

Hitachi Energy and BluVein, an innovator in dynamic charging technology, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to, they say, accelerate the electrification of heavy haul mining fleets and solve one of the biggest challenges in decarbonising mine operations.

Hitachi Energy’s advanced power electronics and digital charging technologies allow BluVein’s e-rail charging technology to deliver electricity safely and reliably to haul trucks of up to 400 t while transporting materials.

The collaboration will fast-track the development of a high-powered, fast and flexible dynamic charging solution for surface and underground mines and quarries in Australia and across the globe. BluVein will focus on its leading-edge e-rail and connection of the truck, which Hitachi Energy will further complement with advanced power electronics and digital solutions to power and monitor the whole system.

“This strategic collaboration with BluVein will enable our mining customers to trial next-generation dynamic charging solutions vital for achieving net-zero emission targets without compromising on operating practices or productivity,” Marco Berardi, Head of Grid & Power Quality Solutions and Service business at Hitachi Energy, said. “We believe this new collaborative approach will deliver on our common goal to accelerate the transition to all-electric mining and a carbon-neutral future.”

James Oliver, CEO at BluVein, added: “This MoU supports BluVein’s mission of partnering with a technology leader to deliver a universal dynamic connector that facilitates the removal of fossil fuel from mines and help propel the industry globally to meet its decarbonisation goals. Together, we are helping the industry move to a more sustainable and responsible future.”

Hitachi Energy and BluVein are also exploring the off-vehicle hardware requirements for BluVein1 for underground and smaller fleets, while actively cooperating on BluVein Proving Grounds, currently under construction in Queensland, Australia.

Hybrid Systems Australia delivers Western Australia’s ‘largest network-integrated BESS’ to Fortescue

Hybrid Systems Australia, Pacific Energy’s integrated renewables subsidiary, says it has delivered Western Australia’s largest network-integrated battery energy storage system (BESS) as a part of Fortescue Metals Group’s Pilbara Energy Connect project, which aims to power the miner’s Pilbara iron ore operations with renewable energy.

Hybrid Systems Australia designed, installed and commissioned 42 MW of interconnected battery storage for two Fortescue mine sites, making it one of the world’s largest network-connected BESS to be developed for a mining application, the company says.

The batteries, which are now fully operational, have been developed alongside solar and new low emissions gas-fired generation that will be owned and operated by Fortescue as part of the company’s Pilbara Energy Connect (PEC) program.

HSA said: “The battery systems use industry-leading grid stabilising control systems, including millisecond-response capabilities and Kokam battery technology, to provide greater protection against load spikes and dips and ensure overall network stability.”

The batteries’ primary role is for grid stability and support, providing spinning reserve backup to any gas generation outages or sudden changes in the solar output. They will store energy from Fortescue’s planned 150 MW of nearby solar power, enabling mining activities to be powered by more renewable energy and cutting the annual carbon emissions of the mines.

Mike Hall, Executive Director of Hybrid Systems Australia, said the project represented one of the largest and most technologically advanced BESS projects the company had undertaken, and that systems of this size were critical to Fortescue’s move towards eliminating the use of fossil fuels in their operations by 2030.

“Our industry-leading design, network integration experience and strong partnerships meant we could readily deliver a large-scale solution that will allow Fortescue to continue its rapid upscale of renewable capacity and deliver on its real zero target,” he said.

“Our BESS are built specifically for remote Australia’s harsh conditions and can be sized from 1 MW to 200 MW, which makes them ideal for large-scale mining applications where the objective is greater reliance on clean energy.”

Fortescue Chief Operating Officer Iron Ore, Dino Otranto, said: “At Fortescue, we are committed to eliminating the use of fossil fuels across our operations by 2030. We were pleased to partner with Hybrid Systems Australia on the BESS, which are a significant component of our investment in the PEC program.

“PEC will not only supply low-cost power to our Iron Bridge operations, but importantly will support Fortescue’s world-leading decarbonisation agenda, allowing the incorporation of additional large scale renewable energy into our network in the future.”

The project included specialised involvement from its subsidiaries, Pacific Energy Pty Ltd, which is delivering the PEC’s low-emissions gas-fuelled power station, MVLV Power Solutions, which designed, manufactured and installed the switchgear and BESS enclosures, and Digital Intelligence, which delivered the BESS control systems.

Hybrid Systems Australia partnered with Hitachi Energy and Kokam to bring together expertise and key battery components from the two specialist equipment suppliers to deliver a solution for Fortescue. It also worked closely with Supply Nation accredited vendors, including electrical contractor, Boodjara Pty Ltd, and local electrical wholesalers, Myelec and D&W Electrical.

Nordic Iron Ore engages Hitachi Energy for Blötberget power solution

Nordic Iron Ore AB has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with Hitachi Energy for a service to secure necessary electrical power to its Blötberget iron ore project in Sweden.

By securing stable supply of electricity to the mine, the company takes an important step in resuming sustainable mining of iron ore in Blötberget and being able to deliver green concentrated iron ore to steel production, it said.

Nordic Iron Ore is evaluating different possibilities to secure the supply of electricity to Blötberget where the company has all the necessary grants to resume mining activity and extract iron ore. An important part of power supply is the power station.

The LoI will see the companies initiate exclusive negotiations regarding a solution called Electrification as a Service for the 50/12 kV system that reliable mining operations in Blötberget require. The arrangement would also include an option for a battery storage solution which would stabilise power output from the station.

Ronne Hamerslag, CEO of Nordic Iron Ore, said: “It is very satisfying that we together with Hitachi Energy can proceed and develop concrete plans and a new business model that make it possible for us to buy Electrification as a Service without the need for a capital intensive investment. This solution would reduce the business’s capital need and not only reduce our financial risk but also the installation and operational risks.”

Nordic Iron Ore was formed in 2008 with the main aims of resuming mining operations in Blötberget and Håksberg and conducting exploration of the expansion potential of the Väsman field, together forming the Ludvika Mines, in southern Dalarna.

ABB to divest minority stake in Hitachi Energy JV

ABB says it has reached an agreement to divest its remaining 19.9% stake in the Hitachi Energy joint venture that was formed from ABB’s Power Grids business in 2020 to Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi has exercised its call option that was agreed between the parties in December 2018, agreeing to pay $1.679 billion to acquire the minority stake.

The companies have agreed to settle remaining obligations relating to the original transaction, and ABB will continue to provide transition services to Hitachi Energy for it to fully separate from ABB’s systems, ABB says.

ABB does not expect to record any significant gain or loss as a result of the sale, expecting net positive cash inflows of approximately $1.425 billion upon closing of the sale.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and closing is expected to happen in the December quarter of 2022.

Timo Ihamuotila, Chief Financial Officer of ABB, said: “We are delighted to have agreed on the final part of the transaction earlier than expected and on favourable terms. This will further strengthen our balance sheet and give us additional flexibility in our capital allocation decisions.”

Yoshihiko Kawamura, Executive Vice President and Executive Officer, CFO of Hitachi, Ltd., and the Chair of the Board of Hitachi Energy, said in a separate press release: “We are pleased with the progress of Hitachi Energy and we look forward to supporting the Hitachi Energy 2030 Plan, as announced during Hitachi Investor Day 2022.”

Hitachi Energy says it is making good progress with its portfolio offering that is strengthening, expandin, and evolving the power system supporting customers and partners across the entire lifecycle to enable a sustainable, flexible and secure energy system. It says it is also well-positioned to accelerate the growing electrification of transportation, industry and building sectors with its long-term Hitachi Energy 2030 purpose-driven growth plan.

Hitachi Energy progresses solution for battery-powered haul truck charging

After being announced as one of eight selected technology vendors to progress in the Charge On™ Innovation Challenge, Hitachi Energy has revealed a bit more about the solution it is preparing to present to interested mining companies, OEMs and investors as part of the next phase of the challenge.

Founded by BHP, Rio Tinto and Vale, together with multiple industry patrons, the Charge On Innovation Challenge has seen the world’s mining industry unite to solve one of the biggest challenges in decarbonising mining operations: the electrification of haul trucks.

Hitachi Energy put forward a proposal that met with the judges’ rigorous criteria for interoperable solutions, it said. The flexible solution design enables electricity to be safely delivered to large battery-powered off-road electric haul trucks, while maintaining or improving productivity levels. The end-to-end solution connects the mine’s electrical grid directly to its haul trucks and other vehicles, such as excavators.

Advanced power electronics and digital technologies are key to the design of Hitachi Energy’s innovative solution to electrify the haul trucks, it said.

The solution, which leverages Grid-eMotion™ Flash – a pioneering solution for sustainable e-mobility that is already in use in mass transport applications – is billed as being able to deliver 8 MW of power to enable vehicles to be charged in just three minutes.

The charging process is carried out in a safe way at the points of loading and unloading, with the Flash charging meaning trucks can operate 24/7, according to the company. Hitachi Energy also delivers an interoperable, flexible Energy Transfer System (ETS) that is free of any catenary infrastructure, it says.

Matt Zafuto, VP, Industry Solutions, Hitachi Energy, told IM that these are ruggedised solutions adapted for mine sites.

“One important difference between the mining application and the mass transit solution is that the wayside infrastructure and ETS are mobile and can be easily moved as the mine site changes,” he said. “In a mass transit environment, this level of mobility of the wayside infrastructure isn’t a consideration.”

He added that all live parts associated with the charging poles will be at a safe height overhead in order to ensure proper safety measures are in place at the mine site.

When asked about expectations surrounding the haul truck run time on three minutes of charging at 8 MW, Zafuto said: “The specifications that were provided to us required us to comply with a 30-minute total cycle time, of which three minutes were associated with charging.”

To further optimise energy use across the mine, Hitachi Energy says it is also able to deliver a full solution, including its innovative e-mesh™ digital solutions for e-mobility, which offers end-to-end distributed energy solutions, combining advanced analytics, software technology and hardware systems. Additionally, a holistic and detailed monitoring and control solution for the charging process and the grid connection system will be available, as will a range of remote and on-site services to support the transition to the new technologies and the efficient operation of the new infrastructure.

The current schedule for the charging solution has field trials commencing in 2023, transitioning to pilot test periods at a chosen mine site, beginning in 2024, Zafuto confirmed.

“We have spoken to multiple truck OEMs who have verbally confirmed the feasibility of our solution design and we are in the process of forming our consortium, which will include multiple OEMs,” he said. “A mine site has not yet been selected but will come out of the consortium planning phase, which begins in July 2022.”

Gerhard Salge, CTO of Hitachi Energy, said the Charge On Innovation Challenge represented another great example of how the company was collaborating with whole industries to accelerate the energy transition towards a carbon-neutral future.

“Hitachi Energy’s proposal is for an innovative haul truck 24/7 electrification solution that will help the world’s mining industry to decarbonise without compromising on productivity,” he said. “Electricity will be the backbone of the entire energy system and together with customers and partners, Hitachi Energy is pioneering technologies and software for advancing a sustainable energy future for all.”

Noaman Amjad, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Hitachi Energy, said: “We are very pleased to have been selected as one of the winning proposals and that Hitachi Energy’s solution has been recognised as meeting with the spirit of interoperability as requested by the patrons. We intend to make our solution available to all truck OEMs interested – a solution that’s built on the solid competence and deep insight of our mining, e-mobility, digital and power systems experts and that will lead to the electrification and decarbonisation of mining.”

Hitachi Energy tackling mine decarbonisation ‘sticking point’ with interoperable haul truck charger

Hitachi Energy is working on a “truly interoperable” 8 MW electric charging solution for large haul trucks, with plans to conduct field trials by 2023, according to Matt Zafuto, VP, Industry Solutions, Hitachi Energy.

The solution – the same solution the company initially put forward for The Charge On Innovation Challenge – came to light earlier this year and was reported by IM in its Battery and Electric Machines feature in IM February 2022.

It leverages Hitachi Energy’s power systems capabilities, advanced digital technologies and proven track record of innovation in sustainable mobility, according to Zafuto, with the solution including hardware to safely charge and service the vehicles, systems for safe electrification of the environment, and services and expertise for collaborative industry partnerships.

IM put some questions to Zafuto to find out more.

IM: What partners are you working with on this interoperable solution?

MZ: We plan for this to be a truly interoperable system. No matter the manufacturer of their haul trucks, all mines will be able to use our solution on their road to carbon neutrality. The market is looking for haul truck manufacturers to build new electric haul trucks, and also to retrofit existing diesel-powered trucks. We’re developing our technology to be interoperable with either new builds or retrofits.

Our core partners, who will help us design the system, include others in the Hitachi group such as Hitachi Industrial Products and Hitachi Construction Machinery. Working together provides end-to-end, deep insight needed to calculate and achieve the power requirements of these mission-critical vehicles.

IM: When do you plan to have a prototype in place?

MZ: We intend to have this electric-powered haul truck solution in field trials by 2023.

IM: Where will this solution be tested and on what OEMs trucks?

MZ: We plan to coordinate with mines and implement field trials by 2023 to develop the best product possible. Our system will be interoperable, so we’ll be able to test it with any truck OEM.

Matt Zafuto, VP, Industry Solutions, Hitachi Energy

IM: Can you expand on how it leverages Hitachi Energy’s power systems capabilities, advanced digital technology and proven track record of innovation in sustainable mobility?

MZ: We have a proven track record for electrifying transportation with our Grid eMotion Fleet solution. Companies and organisations around the globe rely on us to develop and automate safe, efficient and cost-effective charging infrastructure for their electric buses. In this solution, we’re combining our extensive electrification and digital technologies expertise with our deep mining knowledge, where we’ve been working for decades.

We understand both how to quickly charge and maximise the power in electric vehicles and the unique situation facing mines, from the changing mine site to the automation of the vehicles to the imperative of employee safety.

We’ve laid the groundwork for electrification at operations like the DeGrussa Mine, which reduced carbon emissions by over 30,000 t and offset 11 million litres of diesel. Hitachi Energy has also delivered enterprise asset management systems, built on almost four decades of mining data, for the likes of Centerra Gold, allowing it to more effectively allocate and use equipment and achieve a new level of business efficiency.

This electric haul-truck solution brings together these areas of expertise and will push the electric mine forward by leaps and bounds. Our solution will provide 8 MW of power in three minutes of charging, about 14 times higher than any other solution available today. With this solution, we’ll create a safe, reliable way to decarbonise one of the biggest sticking points for mines in their electric future: haul trucks.