Tag Archives: mine power

247Solar and STAG-Tech to collaborate on round-the-clock clean power solutions

247Solar Inc and STAG-Tech have announced a collaboration agreement to combine STAG-Tech’s innovative compact wind turbines with 247Solar’s HeatStorE™ long-duration thermal battery to provide turnkey, round-the-clock clean power solutions for a wide range of off-grid applications such as mine sites.

STAG-Tech’s turbines capture the fastest wind speeds at significantly lower cost than conventional large turbines, according to the company. Packed into a 40 ft (12.1 m) shipping container, STAG-Tech’s turbines can be transported to all but the most remote locations via standard freight truck. Minimal concrete foundations make installation fast and affordable, with the tilt-up turbines able to be raised in under an hour, lowered again for storm protection, and easily relocated, preventing stranded assets, STAG-Tech added.

247Solar’s HeatStorE operates almost like an electrochemical battery but has significant advantages at longer durations, according to the company. Electric resistance coils use electricity from wind or photovoltaic (PV) installations to heat inexpensive silica sand. Energy is thereby stored as ultra-high temperature heat (up to 1,000℃) for up to 20 hours at a fraction of the cost of batteries. When needed, a specialised turbine reconverts the heat to electricity.

“Uniquely, 247Solar’s innovative turbine can do this without combustion, as atmospheric-pressure air is passed through the thermal storage and heated to sufficient temperature to drive the turbine and generate electricity without burning fuel,” the company said.

By adding an external combustor, the battery can produce fully dispatchable backup power 24/7 hours a day, 365 days a year by also burning a variety of fuels, including hydrogen. This enables customers to replace traditional diesel gensets at remote locations and realise 24/7 highly reliable operation with increased renewables penetration, significant fuel savings and dramatically lower lifetime operating costs, 247Solar said.

“Together, the two systems provide an excellent complement to solar PV, enabling customers to reduce their reliance on costly electrochemical batteries and diesel gensets, thereby drastically reducing their Levelised Cost of Energy,” the companies said.

Sean Zamick, STAG-Tech CEO, said: “We are very pleased to be working with 247Solar, a fellow distributed energy innovator. Our first planned collaboration will be the first of many exciting projects to help reduce electricity costs, greenhouse gas emissions and improve the reliability of C&I microgrids around the world.”

Bruce Anderson, CEO of 247Solar, said: “STAG-Tech shares our goal of producing low-cost, factory-built emissions-free energy solutions that are scalable, easy to install and inexpensive to maintain. We look forward to working with them at mines, industrial sites and rural electrification projects throughout the world.”

LAVO, Ampcontrol and Boundary Power to investigate hydrogen storage solutions

A new strategic partnership and collaboration agreement between LAVO, Ampcontrol and Boundary Power is expected to deliver a range of solutions to regional and remote power users such as mine sites, along with data centres and other energy intensive industries.

The agreement between emerging hydrogen company LAVO, electrical, electronic and control system specialists Ampcontrol and standalone power system company Boundary Power will see the parties work together over the next two years to identify the use of LAVO’s hydrogen storage solutions and other zero-carbon products in different demonstration sites, they said.

Potential applications include:

  • Standalone hybrid power supplies;
  • Containerised solutions for small and utility scale wind and solar projects; and
  • Packaged power and battery solutions for data centres, industrial and mining applications.

Alan Yu, LAVO’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “LAVO’s hydrogen storage technology is ideally suited for integration with remote standalone power systems and for other containerised and mobile power solutions. We’re thrilled to be working with Ampcontrol and Boundary Power to explore the options for wider use of our products.”

Ampcontrol CEO and Boundary Power Director, Rod Henderson, said: “Ampcontrol has a long history in the development of innovative products and Boundary Power possesses industry leading experience in utility-grade stand-alone power solutions. Our partnership with LAVO is the continuation of our commitment to finding the best solutions to the energy challenges facing remote areas and energy intensive industries.”

Earlier this year, Macarthur Minerals has signed a strategic partnership and collaboration agreement with LAVO Hydrogen Technology Holding that could see the mine developer use LAVO’s hydrogen energy battery system on site at its flagship Lake Giles Iron project in the Yilgarn region of Western Australia.

BHP and TransAlta agree on solar, battery power system for Mt Keith and Leinster

BHP and its power partner in the Goldfields of Western Australia, TransAlta, are to build two solar farms and a battery storage system to help power the Mt Keith and Leinster nickel operations.

This will help BHP reduce emissions from electricity use at Mt Keith and Leinster by 12%, based on financial year 2020 levels.

The Northern Goldfields Solar Project will include a 27.4 MW solar farm at Mt Keith and a 10.7 MW solar farm and 10.1 MW battery at Leinster, and will displace power currently supplied by diesel and gas turbine generation, BHP said.

This will result in an estimated reduction of 540,000 t of CO2e over the first 10 years of operation. This is the equivalent of removing up to 23,000 combustion engine cars from the road every year, according to BHP.

BHP commissioned the solar farms and battery to be built, owned, and operated by TransAlta as part of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) extension signed in October 2020. Construction will commence in the December quarter, is expected to take 12-14 months and, at its peak, will employ over 100 people on site.

BHP Nickel West, Asset President, Eddy Haegel, said: “This is the first large-scale onsite solar farm and battery that BHP has commissioned at any of its global operations.

“The Northern Goldfields Solar Project will further improve our position as one of the lowest carbon nickel miners in the world. It will reduce emissions from electricity use at Mt Keith and Leinster by 12%, reduce fuel costs and improve the reliability of our electricity supply with the addition of the battery storage system.

“This announcement follows the nickel supply agreement we signed with Tesla last week. Sustainable low carbon nickel is essential for our battery and electric vehicle customers.”

TransAlta Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer, John Kousinioris, said: “We are proud to be supporting BHP’s emissions reduction targets and sustainability goals through the expansion of our renewable generation footprint into Australia.”

The partnership will contribute to BHP’s medium-term target to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions from our operated assets by at least 30% from financial year 2020 levels by its 2030 financial year.

The project is subject to final Western Australia state government approvals.

247Solar’s HeatStorE to help miners integrate more renewables into the power mix

A new thermal battery from 247Solar Inc, a business with origins at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is set to help miners incorporate more renewable energy sources into the power mix at their remote operations.

The HeatStorE™ long duration thermal battery operates almost like an electrochemical battery but has significant advantages at longer durations, according to 247Solar.

“The basic principle of the thermal battery is rather simple,” the company explained. “Electric resistance coils heat an inexpensive thermal storage medium (silica sand) using low-cost excess electricity, eg from intermittent solar and wind power sources. Energy is stored as ultra-high temperature heat (up to 1,000°C) – at a fraction of the cost of batteries.”

Whenever needed, a specialised turbine reconverts the heat to electricity in this process, according to 247Solar. This turbine can generate electricity without combustion, as atmospheric-pressure air is passed through the ‘thermal storage’ and drives the ‘turbine’ to generate it.

By adding a combustor, the battery can also produce even more dispatchable back-up power, ideally using an emission-free fuel such as green hydrogen in the combustion process, 247Solar says.

“This is also how the battery can provide spinning reserves,” it said. “The innovative approach is designed to replace traditional diesel gensets at remote mines, as it provides 24/7 highly reliable operation with higher renewables penetration, significant fuel savings, and dramatically lower lifetime operating costs.”

Bruce Anderson, 247Solar’s CEO, said: “HeatStorE combines two inventions that are part of 247Solar’s Ultra-High Temperature Technology Platform, the 247Solar Heat2Power™ Turbine and the 247Solar Thermal Storage System. Combining these two proven technologies ensures that HeatStorE is also extremely reliable.

“We expect more than 20-year operations with little or no performance degradation.”

This new approach consists of a factory-made, shipping-size container filled with sand that is heated by resistance coils. It also comes with low operating and maintenance costs, according to the company.

“The combination of robustness and life-cycle cost advantages will enable mining companies to implement new power plant concepts with fewer diesel engines – ultimately without any at all,” 247Solar said.

The typical storage duration of HeatStorE is in the range of 4-20 hours, which also allows for substantial grid-support and load shifting. The cost per kWh drops rapidly with duration, it claims. Behind the meter in industrial applications, the battery can also convert otherwise-wasted hot process exhaust to electricity.

vSMRs could solve decarbonisation challenges at Canada’s remote northern mines: study

Very small modular reactors (vSMRs) could provide clean, economic and reliable power and heat to remote northern mines and surrounding communities in Canada, according to a recent study completed by Ontario Power Generation (OPG), Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), and Mining Innovation, Rehabilitation, and Applied Research Corporation (MIRARCO).

The feasibility study, looking into vSMRs ability to reduce or eliminate reliance on diesel, found that the most economical energy mix was for vSMRs to provide 90% of the baseload power required for mining operations and associated uses, with only peak demand periods managed through use of diesel generation, reducing emissions by 85%. Emissions could be lowered further by adding other renewables to the mix, decreasing the diesel component, at a slightly increased cost, it said.

SMRs are defined as producing up to 300 MW of power, while vSMRs produce up to 10 MW of power per module. These small modular reactors are more flexible than conventional reactors, better enabling them to work within a diverse energy grid alongside intermittent technologies such as solar or wind, according to the study partners. They can also be used for applications like process heat or hydrogen production, which help enable further industrial sector decarbonisation.

The technology is seen to have potential applications in Canada’s mining sector, where there are 10 off-grid operating mines. Most of these are served by diesel generators, which offer reliable, fast-acting, easy-to-vary output but are GHG-emitting.

Advantages of a vSMR, producing less than 10 MW, include:

  • Their small size, making them easier to transport and install in remote communities, and scalable to meet changing needs;
  • Their ability to safely, reliably produce power;
  • Long operating life without the need for an onsite inventory of fuel; and
  • Short installation period due to their modular construction and factory fabrication.

Global First Power, a joint venture between OPG and USNC-Power, is the most advanced vSMR project in Canada, according to the study. The project recently received Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission approval to begin a technical review. Subject to federal government financial support, the next step in the process is to construct a demonstration vSMR at CNL’s Chalk River campus.

This demonstration project will serve as a model for future SMR deployments, as called for in Canada’s SMR Roadmap and Action Plan, by producing competitively priced clean energy ideally sized for remote communities and heavy industry such as mining and resource projects.

Robin Manley, Vice President of New Nuclear Development at OPG, said: “Nuclear power and SMRs play an enormous and critical role in meeting Canada’s climate change goals. This study demonstrates that not only can a vSMR dramatically reduce emissions in an industry that currently relies heavily on diesel, but it can do it in a cost-effective way.”

François Caron, Director of the Energy Center and Bruce Power Chair for Sustainable Energy Solutions, MIRARCO, Mining Innovation, added: “This study paves the way for the future of mining: not only does it show that vSMRs could provide a cost-effective and reliable energy source, it demonstrates that vSMRs are a long-term solution that can help diversify and intensify a mining operation while also providing a surplus that will benefit communities in the area.”

(Pictured is a cross section of the USNC-Power Micro Modular Reactor™ (MMR™) unit (CNW Group/Ontario Power Generation Inc))

Hybrid Systems Australia and LAVO to trial hydrogen energy storage at Kewdale

Hybrid Systems Australia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to determine and trial applications of LAVO’s hydrogen energy technology at its Kewdale facilities in Western Australia.

Hybrid Systems Australia, a subsidiary of Pacific Energy, specialises in the design, construction and installation of integrated hybrid systems, incorporating the use of solar photovoltaic, battery storage and backup, reciprocating gas and diesel generation, suitable for remote off-grid applications such as mine sites.

LAVO claims to have the first and only commercial-ready hydrogen energy storage system in the world designed for everyday use by residential homes and businesses, called the LAVO system. This system is designed to be easily integrated with existing solar panel infrastructure, with the company exploring further applications for its patented metal hydride solution. One potential application is already being explored at Macarthur Minerals Ltd’s Lake Giles iron ore project in Western Australia.

Under the MoU, LAVO will work closely with HSA to trial and test the application of hydrogen as an energy source using LAVO’s product offering at the Kewdale facility. As the first of its kind trial in Western Australia, it will test the applicability of incorporating LAVO’s products into HSA’s suite of products in the longer term, the companies said.

The demonstration project is expected to commence in July, extending the reach of LAVO’s existing demonstration projects across Australia.

Alan Yu, CEO and Executive Director of LAVO, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Hybrid Systems Australia on the development of the Western Australia LAVO demonstration project. With its commitment to supporting the shift to a greener future through alternative energy technologies, HSA’s vision for a renewable energy future amplifies our own ambitious sustainability agenda.

“Our industry partnerships continue to demonstrate the applicability of, and market interest in, LAVO’s hydrogen energy storage solutions and we look forward to developing a longer-term strategy alongside HSA as it commits to developing Western Australia as a centre for renewable hydrogen.”

Mike Hall, a Director of Hybrid Systems Australia, added: “Our investment in the development of ground-breaking projects like Denham, and our recent investment in Standalone Power Systems (SPS), has been driven by a nationwide demand for getting reliable power to remote customers using renewable energy solutions. We are excited at the opportunity to merge our experience and capabilities in hybrid power generation in conjunction with the LAVO technology and see many and varied applications for how we would use it.”

Highview to pair solar with cryogenic energy storage in Chile’s Atacama

Highview Enlasa, the 50/50 joint venture between Highview Power and Energía Latina SA-Enlasa, has announced the development of the first liquid air long duration energy storage project in Chile.

This 50 MW/500 MWh (10 hours) CRYOBattery™, which represents an estimated investment of $150 million, will be in Diego de Almagro in the Atacama Region.

With one of the highest solar irradiations in the world, the Atacama Region has the potential to generate all the country’s electricity. By pairing solar with cryogenic energy storage, Chile can benefit from 24/7, 100% renewable energy, according to Highview Power.

Engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) on the project will be carried out by SK Ingeniería y Construcción, a leading Chile-based EPC contractor and a subsidiary of the Sigdo Koppers group. The project is currently in the pre-feasibility engineering phase and is scheduled to enter environmental permitting in August. Construction is estimated to start in the second half of 2023.

Javier Cavada, CEO and President of Highview Power, said: “This is a big step forward to enabling decarbonisation goals for the country of Chile. Our liquid air energy storage technology is the optimal solution for the large scale, long duration energy storage that is needed to balance the grid, without the geographic constraints associated with other energy storage technologies.”

The Highview Enlasa joint venture is opening Latin American energy markets to baseload renewable energy potential, the companies say. When paired with renewable energy sources such as solar, Highview Power’s long duration energy storage system is equivalent in performance to thermal and nuclear power, it claims. CRYOBatteries are developed using proven components from mature industries and can deliver pumped-hydro capabilities without geographical constraints.

Fernando del Sol, President of Highview Enlasa, added: “The objective of our company is to make this innovative technology available to the market and to all actors in the electrical and mining sectors. These plants can replace traditional coal plants, which will help us contribute to accelerating the decarbonisation process in Chile and to combat climate change.”

Highview Power’s proprietary cryogenic energy storage technology uses air liquefaction, in which ambient air is cooled and turned to liquid at -196°C. The liquid air is stored at low pressure and later heated and expanded to drive a turbine and generate power. It is the only long duration energy storage solution available today that is locatable and can offer multiple gigawatt-hours (weeks) of storage, according to the company.

“The CRYOBattery has a small footprint and is scalable with no size limitations or geographic constraints, allowing for the deployment of massive amounts of renewables,” the company said.

Highview Power’s cryogenic energy storage plants offer valuable capabilities including voltage control, grid balancing and synchronous inertia that give grid operators the flexibility to manage power and energy services independently.”

Orezone ties up LNG and solar power options for Bomboré gold project

Orezone Gold Corp’s Bomboré gold project is to become the first mine in Burkina Faso to use LNG to power its operations after the Vancouver-based company signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Genser Energy Burkina SA for the supply of “clean energy electrical power” to the project.

Under the PPA, Genser will use liquefied natural gas (LNG) as its main fuel, augmented with a staged solar plant, Orezone said. A fixed rate energy tariff will apply over the life of mine oxide operation with a fixed rate tariff to be negotiated for the additional energy demand upon commissioning of the sulphide processing circuit expected in Year three of commercial production.

The power plant will consist of 6 2.5 MW LNG generators with four 2.6 MW diesel back-up units. This configuration is sized for the initial oxide operation and the planned sulphide expansion, the company explained. At the same time, a solar photovoltaic plant, up to 14 MWp, is to be installed in stages with an 11 kV powerline to connect the gas and backup diesel generators, and solar plant.

Genser is to design, permit, finance and install all power generating equipment and associated infrastructure including LNG storage and diesel storage terminals. It will also be the operator and owner of the power plant facility.

Patrick Downey, President & CEO of Orezone, said: “We are extremely excited to be the first mine in Burkina Faso to use a LNG and solar hybrid power supply. Besides being an excellent cost-effective choice for Bomboré, we also see this new power solution as being a very positive step for the Burkina Faso mining and electricity generating sectors. LNG power systems, coupled with solar, will enable energy intensive industries such as mining to reduce fuel consumption, decrease energy costs, and significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions.”

He added: “This life of mine fixed cost agreement for clean energy from Genser provides power cost certainty over life of mine oxide production at Bomboré and provides an excellent platform for project expansion and growth.”

The Honourable Dr Bachir Ismael Ouedraogo, The Minister of Mines and Energy for Burkina Faso, said: “Having the first LNG plant at a mining operation is a great step forward for the industry and we congratulate Orezone in this regard. As a government, we continue to support clean energy alternatives that provides a platform for sustainable growth and benefits our communities.”

Alongside the announcement of the PPA, Orezone said that significant progress had been made at Bomboré during the first two quarters of the year. Engineering is now approximately 30% complete and on schedule, with design and bulk quantities from this work trending favourably against the quantity estimates used in the 2019 feasibility study.

Procurement is well advanced with firm orders placed for most mechanical and electrical equipment with purchase costs generally below budget estimates, it added.

In January, the company appointed Lycopodium Minerals Pty Ltd as the project’s EPCM contractor, while, in February, Sila Equipement ET BTP SA was named as its open-pit mining contractor.

Meanwhile, bulk materials including concrete reinforcing bar and embeds, CIL tank platework, structural steel and platework, HDPE liner, and overland piping have also been ordered with costs also trending within budget, Orezone said.

Off-channel reservoir mining, earthworks for the plant site area and tailings storage facility are rapidly advancing, and the award of the contracts for concrete installation and CIL tank erection and overland piping are imminent, it added.

Orezone’s 2019 feasibility study on Bomboré envisaged a 5.2 Mt/y throughput operation able to produce, on average, 117,760 oz of gold over a 13-year mine life where both oxide and sulphides would be mined and processed. The project remains on track for first gold pour in the September quarter of 2022.

CSIRO on a mission to help Australia become a hydrogen power leader

A new Hydrogen Industry Mission launched by CSIRO will, Australia’s national science agency says, help support the world’s transition to clean energy, create new jobs and boost the economy.

Hydrogen, when mixed with oxygen, can be used as an emissions-free fuel source to generate electricity, power or heat. But it is expensive to turn into a fuel.

The research mission will help drive down the cost of hydrogen production to under A$2 per kilogram, making the fuel more affordable and helping to position Australia to lead the world in exporting hydrogen by 2030.

Over the next five years, more than 100 projects worth A$68 million ($53 million) have been planned by partners including: Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER), Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Fortescue Metals Group, Swinburne University, the Victorian Government, the Future Fuels CRC, National Energy Resources Australia (NERA), and the Australian Hydrogen Council, along with collaborators Toyota and Hyundai. CSIRO and Boeing – research partners for more than 30 years – will also continue to explore hydrogen’s future use in the aviation industry.

CSIRO Chief Executive, Dr Larry Marshall, said the unique mission-based partnership was the key to creating a new industry for the future energy needs of Australia and the world.

“Australia can become a renewable energy leader through the production, use and export of hydrogen, but it will only become a reality if we breakthrough the A$2/kg barrier,” he said. “That needs Australia’s world class science working with CSIRO’s commercialisation expertise turning breakthrough science into real-world solutions.

“Taking a Team Australia approach is essential to creating the 8,000 jobs and A$11 billion a year in GDP that hydrogen can contribute to Australia’s economy as we build back better from the impacts of COVID-19.”

CEO of the Australian Hydrogen Council, Dr Fiona Simon, said the mission came at a critical time for the emerging Australian hydrogen industry.

“We need a coordinated series of investments in industrial-scale research and demonstration activities, along with the supporting research and infrastructure that can bring the technologies that are available and emerging to the industry that needs to deploy them,” she said.

“Focused efforts like the Hydrogen Industry Mission will help realise these goals, and the Hydrogen Council is delighted to be part of it.”

The mission will focus on delivering four key programs of work, some of which have already begun:

  • Hydrogen Knowledge Centre to capture and promote hydrogen projects and industry developments across Australia. The first module, HyResource, was launched in September with NERA, the Future Fuels CRC and The Australian Hydrogen Council;
  • Feasibility and strategy studies to deliver trusted advice to government, industry and the community. This builds on recent hydrogen cost modelling and barrier analysis provided as part of developing the National Hydrogen Strategy;
  • Demonstration projects that validate hydrogen value chains and de-risk enabling technologies. Development is underway at a new facility in Clayton, Victoria, with Swinburne University and the Victorian Government; and
  • Enabling science and technology through investment in breakthrough science, including a A$20 million partnership with Fortescue which focuses on the development and commercialisation of new hydrogen technologies.

CSIRO Hydrogen Industry Mission Lead, Dr Patrick Hartley, said CSIRO was uniquely placed to drive this collaboration.

“The goal of this mission is to support the vision of a clean and competitive hydrogen industry for Australia by delivering research, development and demonstration partnerships which help make Australia’s hydrogen markets a reality,” he said.

“CSIRO’s unique position at the nexus of research, government, and industry gives us the ability to bring together stakeholders, and our track record of partnering and leveraging research funds means that we are able to grow this new phase of the industry without the need for everyone to do it alone.”

Nel and Wood to collaborate on large scale, renewable hydrogen projects

Nel ASA has entered into a framework agreement with the global consulting and engineering company Wood that will see the companies collaborate to develop and execute large scale, complex green renewable hydrogen projects in select regions across the world.

Wood is a leader in consulting and engineering across various industries including mining. Nel, meanwhile, is a global, dedicated hydrogen company, delivering solutions to produce, store, and distribute hydrogen from renewable energy.

Jon André Løkke, CEO of Nel ASA, said: “We are very excited to be entering into this agreement with Wood, who has extensive experience from large, complex projects worldwide. As green hydrogen projects are growing in size and complexity, it is crucial for our success to have strong partners to strengthen our project management – and execution capabilities. This is a long-term commitment, and we look forward to working together to further strengthen our competitiveness through leveraging our experience and competence.”

Nel Hydrogen Electrolyser AS, a subsidiary of Nel ASA, is delivering a 3.5 MW electrolyser to ENGIE as part of a project to deliver the world’s largest fuel cell haul truck for Anglo American.

Craig Shanaghey, Wood’s President of Operations for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “We are excited about the opportunity to support NEL Hydrogen as they play their part in the green hydrogen revolution, and as we unite on our commitment to create a more sustainable and cleaner energy future. We look forward to leveraging our global engineering and project implementation capabilities to support our client on their delivery of impactful solutions around the world.”

The process of phasing in Wood on ongoing projects is underway, Nel said.