Tag Archives: microgrid

Strandline, Woodside and EDL to work on ‘world-first’ power project for Coburn

Strandline Resources has selected Woodside and EDL to provide a fully integrated energy solution for its Coburn mineral sands project, in Western Australia.

The parties have signed a non-binding proposal for the development of a 27 MW integrated trucked LNG, storage and power station facility, comprising gas and diesel back-up generators combined with state-of-the-art solar and battery technology, it said.

The Woodside and EDL joint venture (WEJV) was formed to provide clean, reliable and affordable LNG to market, according to Strandline.

“This world-first trucked LNG to hybrid renewable microgrid project will see EDL bring its turnkey expertise to the project’s power station and LNG storage and re-gasification facilities, with LNG supplied from Woodside’s Pluto LNG truck loading facility near Karratha, Western Australia,” Strandline said.

It is expected that contract documentation, in the form of a 15-year power purchase agreement, will be finalised over the coming months in readiness for the commencement of construction, Strandline said.

The WEJV solution provides Strandline with a long-term safe, reliable and highly efficient energy solution for Coburn, according to the developer.

EDL was recently involved in the start up of phase one of a hybrid power project at Gold Fields’ Agnew gold mine, also in Western Australia (pictured).

Coburn, meanwhile, is a mineral sands deposit hosting “exceptional” zircon and titanium mineral sands products, Strandline says. The project benefits from being situated in the well-established mining jurisdiction of Western Australia, close to key road, port and services infrastructure.

The company recently completed a definitive feasibility study on Coburn, which showed the project could generate a pre-tax net present value of A$551 million ($377 million) using a US$:A$ of 0.72, an 8% discount rate, and development capital of A$207 million for the heavy mineral concentrate produce case, with an additional A$50 million required for the final products case (including mineral separation plant infrastructure).

Siemens and juwi push forward with microgrids for mining systems

Siemens and renewable energy developer juwi have joined forces to enter into a strategic technology partnership to focus on microgrids for the mining industry.

An agreement, signed this week, will see the two companies aim to roll-out and continually develop the advanced microgrid control system that enables the seamless integration of power from renewable energy to a mine’s off-grid power supply, they said.

The Siemens Sicam based microgrid control platform, a proven and tested technology Siemens says, is the basis for juwi´s Hybrid IQ microgrid controller. juwi, meanwhile, brings industry-specific domain knowhow and a track record of planning and executing renewable energy projects at mine sites.

Juwi says: “The solution adapts to changing orebodies, processing and power requirements whilst providing detailed reporting and analysis to operations teams and management. Together, the strategic partners create a unique, standardised solution for the mining market.”

This will simplify the use of renewable energy for mines and help provide a cost-effective and reliable power supply, especially for mine sites that operate off the grid, according to the companies.

Robert Klaffus (left), CEO Digital Grid at Siemens Smart Infrastructure, said: “Microgrids can bring high levels of reliability and improved energy quality to energy-intensive industries such as mining; and are an attractive alternative when autonomous power supply is needed.

“We are looking forward to the technology cooperation with juwi on microgrids and believe it will boost the commercial appeal of renewable energy to the mining industry.”

Stephan Hansen (right), a Board Member and COO of the juwi Group, added: “Renewable energy will not only future-proof mining operations, but reduce cash operating costs today. The centrepiece to this is the juwi Hybrid IQ system. It enables us to provide hybrid power that goes far beyond what has been industry practice until now.”

The co-operation between juwi and Siemens has already resulted in the successful delivery of the solar power plant at Gold Fields’ Agnew gold mine in Australia, the companies said. A renewable and low-carbon energy project at the mine is being developed by global energy group EDL. juwi is working with EDL to deliver 4 MW Single Axis Tracking PV installation together with cloud forecasting and an advanced microgrid control system to enable integration with the mine off-grid network at Agnew.

The partnership has also provided hybrid power to Australia’s largest and oldest marine research station on the Great Barrier Reef of Queensland. Heron Island now uses juwi Hybrid IQ to combine solar with a redox flow battery to replace diesel fuel.

“Both projects showcase the next generation of hybrid systems and enable mine sites to significantly lower their carbon footprint and their cash operating costs,” they said.

Gold Fields goes for low-carbon energy solution at Agnew gold mine in Australia

Gold Fields says its Agnew gold mine, in Western Australia, will become one of Australia’s first mining operations to be predominantly powered by renewable and low-carbon energy following a deal with global energy group EDL.

Gold Fields and EDL have agreed on a A$112 million ($78 million) investment in what the gold miner says is a “world-leading energy microgrid combining wind, solar, gas and battery storage”.

The Agnew mine consists of two underground complexes and one processing plant, with a capacity of 1.3 Mt/y consisting of a three-stage crushing circuit, two-stage milling circuit, gravity circuit and carbon-in-pulp circuit.

The microgrid will be owned and operated by EDL, which will recoup its investment via a 10-year electricity supply agreement with Agnew.

The project, which is already under construction, has the backing of the Australian Government with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) contributing a recoupable A$13.5 million to its construction, according to Gold Fields.

The Agnew microgrid is initially forecast to provide 55-60% of the mine’s energy needs, with potential to meet almost all energy requirements at certain times, Gold Fields said. The Agnew microgrid will consist of five wind turbines delivering 18 MW of power, a 10,000-panel solar farm contributing 4 MW, a 13 MW/4 MWh battery energy storage system, and a 16 MW gas engine power station to underpin supply when required.

EDL said stage one consists of a new off-grid 23 MW power station incorporating 16 MW gas and 3 MW diesel generation and 4 MW photovoltaic solar, which is on track for completion in mid-2019. Stage two includes 18 MW wind generation, a 13 MW battery and an advanced micro-grid control system, with construction recently started and due for completion in 2020.

The hybrid microgrid at Agnew follows the announcement of a microgrid at Gold Fields’ Granny Smith mine, featuring 20,000 solar panels and a 2 MW/1 MWh battery system planned for completion in the December quarter.

Gold Fields Australia Executive Vice President, Stuart Mathews, said the Agnew hybrid microgrid project reflects the company’s strategic objective to strengthen energy security, optimise energy costs and reduce its carbon footprint through innovation and the adoption of new technologies.

“The ARENA contribution supports and encourages our efforts. We are making staged investments across our mines in Western Australia to significantly ramp up the innovative use of renewables to meet our dynamic and growing load requirements,” Mathews said.

The funding is part of ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Programme. ARENA CEO, Darren Miller, said the project marks a growing shift in the mining sector’s thinking around powering mine sites.

“The project Gold Fields is undertaking will provide a blueprint for other companies to deploy similar off-grid energy solutions and demonstrate a pathway for commercialisation, helping to decarbonise the mining and resources sector,” Miller said.

Gold Fields says it is embracing innovation and technology across all levels of its mining operations and Mathews said this also extended to its approach to power supply and demand management.

“At Agnew, we will be using instrumentation to detect approaching cloud cover for solar and, potentially in the future, detect changes in wind velocity. Based on this data, the gas power station will have forward-looking systems in place to schedule gas generators in response to forecast changes in the renewable energy supply,” he said.

EDL CEO, James Harman, said the company has seen increasing momentum towards hybrid energy solutions, particularly in remote, off-grid locations. “EDL is pleased to be an active contributor to Australia’s transition to sustainable energy,” Harman said. “Our knowledge and experience from our successful hybrid renewable projects will enable us to provide Agnew with greater than 50% renewable energy over the long term, without compromising power quality or reliability.”

Mathews said: “The configuration of Agnew’s hybrid solution is a first for Gold Fields and is an excellent example of using innovation and technology to improve efficiencies and lower costs. We are fast sharing lessons from this project with our other regions, as part of our global strategic initiatives to improve our security of supply and reduce carbon emissions.”

Gold Fields is the third largest gold producer in Australia. It currently owns and operates three mines in Western Australia and is completing the construction of a fourth, Gruyere, in joint venture with Gold Road Resources.

Aggreko to deliver renewable power microgrid to Gold Fields’ Granny Smith mine

Gold Fields’ Granny Smith gold mine is set to install one of the world’s largest renewable energy microgrids powered by more than 20,000 solar panels and backed up by a 2 MW/1 MWh battery system, according to mobile and modular power company Aggreko.

The mining company has contracted the Scotland-based firm to design, build and operate the 8 MW solar power generation system along with the battery system at Granny Smith, which is located east of Laverton in Western Australia’s Goldfields region.

In June, said it was working with Gold Fields on plans to provide 7.3 MW of solar power generation, as well as a 2 MW/1 MWh battery system, to be integrated with the existing gas supply as a hybrid power station.

Gold Fields Executive Vice President Australasia, Stuart Mathews, said: “We are thrilled to reach an agreement with Aggreko for the design, installation and operation of this innovative source of renewable energy which will generate nearly enough power to run the mine’s processing operations.

“We expect the renewable power microgrid will be up and running at Granny Smith by Q4 (December quarter) 2019 and it will be a welcome addition to our suite of on-site energy solutions across other operations which will enable us to reduce our carbon footprint,” he said.

Construction of the renewable energy system is planned to commence in May and, when completed, will be one of the world’s largest hybrid off-grid microgrids, integrated with Aggreko’s existing 24.2 MW natural gas generation.

Aggreko AusPac Managing Director, George Whyte, said the solar, thermal and battery storage assets will be seamlessly integrated and managed by Aggreko’s control software platform – maintaining full system availability and optimising the lifetime of existing thermal assets.

Whyte said: “The solar-plus-battery system is projected to reduce fuel consumption by 10-13% – the equivalent of removing 2,000 cars from the road – and produce about 18 GWh of clean energy per year.

“Gold Fields understands the performance, cost and environmental advantages for their operation, as well as the need to integrate this resource into their system without compromising power supply reliability or mining productivity.”

While the solar photovoltaic (PV) will reduce the need to run thermal generators, the battery plant will provide essential services such as spinning reserve displacement, PV ramp rate control and transient voltage/frequency support.

The current Granny Smith power station was designed and installed by Aggreko in 2016 and the new hybrid power system, combined with a thermal station expansion, will meet the increased daily power needs of 24.2 MW, with 12.2 MW allocated to the Wallaby underground mine and the remaining 12 MW to the processing plant, associated facilities and mining camp, Aggreko said. Granny Smith produced 290,000 oz of gold in 2017.