Tag Archives: wind energy

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.”

CrossBoundary wind, solar, battery solution set for Rio QMM ilmenite operation

Rio Tinto has signed a power purchasing agreement for a new renewable energy plant to power the operations of its QMM ilmenite mine in Fort Dauphin, Southern Madagascar.

This project, which uses solar and wind energy, will significantly contribute towards Rio Tinto’s operations in Madagascar achieving its carbon neutral objective by 2023, it said. It is part of a broader initiative to reduce the ilmenite mine’s environmental footprint which includes programs that focus on emissions reduction, waste and water management, carbon sequestration, ecological restoration and reforestation.

QIT Madagascar Minerals (QMM), is a joint venture between Rio Tinto (80%) and the government of Madagascar (20%).

The renewable energy plant, to be built, owned and operated by independent power producer, CrossBoundary Energy, over a 20-year period, will consist of an 8 MW solar facility and a 12 MW wind energy facility to power mining and processing operations. There will also be a lithium-ion battery energy storage system of up to 8.25 MW as reserve capacity to ensure a stable and reliable network.

It will supply all of QMM’s electricity demand during peak generation times, and up to 60% of the operations’ annual electricity consumption, according to Rio. QMM is to replace the majority of the power it currently supplies to the town of Fort Dauphin and the community of around 80,000 people with renewables, the company added.

The renewable energy plant will comprise more than 18,000 solar panels and up to nine wind turbines located in the Port Ehoala Park area. Construction is expected to begin this year with the solar plant scheduled to start operations at the beginning 2022. The wind power plant is planned to commence construction in early 2022 and become operational by the end of 2022.

QMM President, Ny Fanja Rakotomalala, said: “On a sunny and windy day, all the electricity needed by QMM and the Fort Dauphin community will be generated by the Malagasy sun and wind. It is a major step forward on our journey towards a truly sustainable mine, that protects and promotes the uniqueness of Madagascar’s environment and benefits the community with reliable and clean electricity.”

Rio Tinto Minerals Chief Executive, Sinead Kaufman, said: “With this flagship project, QMM is leading the way at Rio Tinto and in Madagascar in utilising renewable energy to power mining operations and reduce carbon emissions.”

CrossBoundary Energy Co-founder and Managing Partner, Matt Tilleard, added: “Emissions from electricity use in mining is estimated to account for around 1% of all greenhouse gases globally. Rio Tinto is leading the way in demonstrating how mines can seize a huge opportunity to reduce these emissions. We are focused on delivering cleaner power to businesses and were, therefore, able to offer Rio Tinto a flexible, fast, all-equity funding approach, combined with our reliable track record as one of Africa’s largest distributed renewable utilities.”

QMM is near Fort Dauphin in the Anosy region of south-eastern Madagascar, and primarily produces ilmenite, in addition to zirsill and monazite. It includes the deep-water Port d’Ehoala, where the raw material is shipped to the Rio Tinto Fer et Titane plant in Canada and processed into titanium dioxide.

Saft tech helps Gold Fields make the renewable energy switch at Agnew

A Saft lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS) is playing a key role in helping Gold Field’s Agnew mine make the switch from fossil fuels to wind and solar power, according to the Paris-based company.

In Saft’s first project for EDL, the BESS has been installed within a hybrid renewable microgrid with an installed capacity of 56 MW. This is the first microgrid to incorporate wind power on a large scale at an Australia mine, the company said, with the energy storage critical in enabling the EDL microgrid to maintain power quality as it integrates an increasing level of volatile and unpredictable renewable energy.

EDL Chief Executive Officer, James Harman, said: “The Agnew hybrid renewable microgrid was completed on May 1, 2020, and has proven to be a great success – under the right weather conditions, the microgrid has delivered up to 85% of the site’s power requirements with renewable energy.

“The BESS is critical to this success. That’s why we selected Saft’s Li-ion technology – it offered a complete solution with a proven track record. We’d be happy to work with Saft again.”

The Agnew gold mine is an underground operation 1,000 km northeast of Perth in Western Australia. The site covers over 600 sq.km and has the capacity to process 1.3 Mt/y of ore.

The remote off-grid location means the Agnew site must generate its own electricity, with Gold Fields committed to sustainable and innovative power solutions. It engaged EDL in a 10-year agreement to build and operate Australia’s largest hybrid renewable energy microgrid.

The first project phase involved the construction of a 4 MW solar farm and a 21 MW gas/diesel engine power plant. This was followed by five wind turbines for 18 MW of generation, a microgrid controller and Saft’s 13 MW/4 MWh energy storage system.

The turnkey BESS at the Agnew mine comprises six of Saft’s Intensium® Max+ 20M, 20 ft (6.1 m) containers together with a power conversion system, transformer and MV switchgear installed in three 40 ft containers. Its main role is to provide power quality support for the microgrid to maximise the usage of variable renewable energy, according to Saft. It also provides “ultra-fast reacting spinning reserves” to help maintain grid stability and minimise the need for fossil fuel-based generation units to run idle for this purpose.

The Intensium Max+ 20M design meant no modifications were required to ensure a long operational life in the demanding dusty and sandy desert conditions, where peak temperatures can reach 48°C, Saft said. To maintain maximum uptime and availability for the BESS, Saft is providing remote monitoring together with a service contract including yearly on-site maintenance.

The Intensium Max+ 20M is fully fitted out and tested by Saft at its manufacturing hub in Jacksonville, Florida. As a result, the containers were delivered to site ready to ‘plug and play’.

Anglo American, Rio Tinto back World Bank’s clean technology developments

Anglo American and Rio Tinto have committed to the World Bank’s Climate-Smart Mining initiative by becoming founding donors to the Climate-Smart Mining Facility.

The Climate-Smart Mining Facility is the first-ever fund dedicated to making mining for metals and minerals a more sustainable practice that complements the global energy transition, according to Anglo.

Building on the World Bank’s initial $2 million investment, Anglo American and Rio have joined governments (the German government being one) as a donor. Anglo said it would provide $1 million to the facility over the next five years.

“The facility’s work will support the sustainable extraction and processing of mining products used in developing clean energy technologies, such as copper used in energy storage and electric vehicles,” Anglo said. “The fund will also work with governments and operators in developing countries to establish strategies for sustainable mining operations and legal frameworks that promote smart mining.”

Anglo American said it shares the World Bank’s view that the energy transition will be mineral-intensive, creating economic opportunities for resource-rich countries and the mining sector.

Mark Cutifani, Chief Executive of Anglo American, said: “To have real impact we must work together with governments and operators to bring changes. That is why we are supporting the World Bank with this facility, to provide funds that can transform our industry for the future.

“Mining cannot continue its long path of simply scaling up to supply what the world needs. We need to do things in dramatically different ways if we are to transform our footprint and be valued by all our stakeholders. Our first responsibility is to reduce our energy and water usage, and our emissions.

“At Anglo American, we have set ourselves on a journey to carbon neutrality operationally, with our 2020 and 2030 targets as staging posts. Our FutureSmart Mining™ technologies will be a key driver of this.”

Rio Tinto CEO, J-S Jacques, said: “The transition to clean energy solutions presents both a significant opportunity and responsibility for the mining industry, as it provides the materials that make these technologies possible.

“We want to be part of the solution on climate change and the best solutions will come from innovative partnerships across competitors, governments and institutions. Our collaboration with the World Bank and many others is aimed at making a real difference by promoting sustainable practices across our industry. We look forward to supporting the Climate-Smart Mining Facility by contributing not just funding but also expertise as a leader in sustainable mining practices.”

The World Bank said the facility focuses on “helping resource-rich developing countries benefit from the increasing demand for minerals and metals, while ensuring the mining sector is managed in a way that minimises the environmental and climate footprint”.

The facility, which supports the sustainable extraction and processing of minerals and metals used in clean energy technologies, such as wind, solar power, and batteries for energy storage and electric vehicles, will also assist governments to build a robust policy, regulatory and legal framework that promotes climate-smart mining and creates an enabling environment for private capital, the World Bank said.

Projects may include:

  • Supporting the integration of renewable energy into mining operations, given that the mining sector accounts for up to 11% of global energy use and that mining operations in remote areas often rely on diesel or coal;
  • Supporting the strategic use of geological data for a better understanding of “strategic mineral” endowments;
  • Forest-smart mining: preventing deforestation and supporting sustainable land-use practices; repurposing mine sites, and;
  • Recycling of minerals: supporting developing countries to take a circular economy approach and reuse minerals in a way that respects the environment.

Riccardo Puliti, Senior Director and Head of the Energy and Extractives Global Practice at the World Bank, said: “The World Bank supports a low-carbon transition where mining is climate-smart and value chains are sustainable and green. Developing countries can play a leading role in this transition: developing strategic minerals in a way that respects communities, ecosystems and the environment. Countries with strategic minerals have a real opportunity to benefit from the global shift to clean energy.”

The World Bank is targeting a total investment of $50 million, to be deployed over a five-year timeframe.

Canada renews northern energy pledge with investments in TUGLIQ projects

The Government of Canada has backed two new projects that could see an increase in the amount of renewable energy used on remote mine sites in the country’s north.

Paul Lefebvre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, this week announced a combined C$4.2-million ($3.2 million) investment for two TUGLIQ Energy Corp projects in Nunavut and Quebec.

An investment of C$283,000 will enable TUGLIQ to complete a front-end engineering and design study to integrate compressed air energy storage with its operations, enabling increased use of wind energy at a Nunavut mine – IM understands this to be the TMAC Resources-owned Hope Bay gold project.

“This project will demonstrate that such a system can achieve significant reductions in diesel consumption,” the Government of Canada said.

A second investment of C$3.9 million in RAGLAN 2.0 will expand Nunavik’s first renewable energy production and storage centre (wind turbine pictured) for 16 regional mining operations and Inuit communities in this Arctic region, as well as other mining operations abroad.

RAGLAN 2.0, builds on a prior landmark project, RAGLAN 1.0, which conclusively proved the technical and operational capabilities of industrial-scale renewable energy at northern sites (Glencore’s Raglan nickel mine), under harsh industrial and climatic conditions, according to Natural Resources Canada (NRC).

With energy storage consisting of a flywheel to level-off any speed fluctuations and stabilise the strain and frequency of the autonomous grid, 250 kWh lithium-ion batteries to support the grid, a hydrogen loop comprised of an electrolyser, high pressure storage tanks and fuel cells, a microcontroller and supervisory control and data acquisition for remote monitoring, the project has so far been a success. In 2018, TUGLIQ doubled its installed wind capacity at the Raglan mine. A total of 6 MW is now up and running, producing clean electricity from wind energy in this remote area of the Canadian Arctic. More than 4 million litres of diesel is being avoided every year.

It involves project partners Enercon, Glencore Raglan mine, HATCH Ltd, Moreau Electrique and Québec’s Ministry of Natural Resources – EcoPerformance Program.

Both projects are being funded through NRC’s Energy Innovation Program, which received C$49 million over three years to support clean energy innovation, and “will ensure that clean energy technologies are widely affordable — helping drive economic growth, create jobs and help with the transition to a low-carbon economy”, the NRC said.

“Through Canada’s national energy dialogue, Generation Energy, Canadians expressed that Canada has an opportunity to be a leader in the transition to a clean growth economy. We will continue to support innovative and clean initiatives that create jobs for the middle class, support Canadian industry competitiveness, clean our air and act on climate change.”

Vale signs long-term renewable energy pact with Casa dos Ventos in Brazil

Vale has signed a long-term energy supply contract with Casa dos Ventos as part of its plan to generate 100% of its electricity in Brazil by 2030 through renewable sources.

The agreement is related to energy produced from the Folha Larga Sul wind farm in Campo Formoso, Bahia. With an installed capacity of 151.2 MW, the project is expected begin commercial operation by the first half of 2020. Vale says its energy has been contracted for 23 years.

The pact also includes a future asset call option held by Vale.

“The partnership is yet another step into Vale’s strategy to achieve 100% self-generation of electricity in Brazil by 2030 through the use of renewable sources of energy,” the company said.