Category: C&I Generation
As existing ore bodies begin to deplete, mining companies are looking towards increasingly more remote and lower grade sites for future developments. This shift is resulting in higher fuel logistical costs and energy demands which, along with the increasing cost and volatility of the fuel, is becoming a major portion of mines operating costs. As renewable alternatives for power generation continue to become cheaper and more ubiquitous, mining companies are seeing the value of solar and wind to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. This transition is also helping to mitigate the impact of impending carbon taxes and socially-responsible investments.
Wind power has developed a successful reputation for showing a significant impact through the reduction operating costs at remote mines in the Canadian arctic and beyond, and now and now is the time for solar PV generation to take that step as well.
Solar power has been historically discounted as a viable option for major loads at remote industrial facilities, but with improvements in cost profiles and energy storage this is changing. Our presentation will show the recent advances in deploying solar power at remote mining facilities in the Canadian arctic and the Argentinian Andes in South America, as well as the conditions under which solar power can provide an economical source of power for major industrial facilities. Furthermore, we will show the specific benefit of technologies like single and double axis tracking and bifacial modules at high latitudes for significantly improving the performance of solar power, by accounting for the movement of the sun and the higher albedo in these regions.
The use of solar power present, at remote facilities globally, can also be complementary to wind power and energy storage permitting higher penetration of renewable power. Through the use of solar power, remote mining operations can benefit by supplementing their dependencies on fossil fuels, reducing GHG emissions and operating costs.
Alexander Stickler– Global Director - Renewable Power, Hatch Ltd.