IGO has taken another step towards decarbonising its Nova nickel operation in Western Australia, signing an agreement with Australian Vanadium to trial its vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) standalone power system (SPS).
Provided by Australian Vanadium’s wholly owned subsidiary VSUN Energy, the power system will be free for use for the first 12 months, with ownership or rental options thereafter.
A SPS typically comprises a combination of solar, wind, battery and backup generation from diesel or gas and supplies power independently to the electricity grid.
Based on a 300 kilowatt-hour (kWh) VRFB, SPS is designed to provide a 100 per cent renewable energy supply for much of the year, with a diesel genset offsetting any long periods of cloud cover.
The SPS aims to not only significantly reducing the carbon emissions of diesel generator powered bore fields, but also offer substantial reductions in operating hours for service personnel.
IGO chief operating officer Matt Dusci said the trial of the SPS forms part of the major miner’s broader net-zero strategy.
“IGO’s strategic focus is on those products that are critical to enabling clean energy solutions, to create a better planet,” he said.
“As part of our strategy to deliver those products, we aspire to be carbon neutral across our business and to do this, in part, by leveraging renewable energy solutions and innovation to reduce emissions at our remote exploration and mining operations.”
Australian Vanadium managing director Vincent Algar said the SPS is not only effective in stamping out diesel but it’s also sturdy.
“The installation of an SPS based on vanadium technology for pumping applications enables diesel to be almost entirely eliminated, helping reduce overall carbon emissions and providing reliable green power,” he said.
“The robustness of VRFB energy storage makes it perfectly suited to the tough environments found on many Australian mine sites.”
In July, Australian Vanadium was awarded a $3.69 million Federal Government manufacturing grant, part of which has funded the development of the VRFB-fuelled SPS.