Storage and microgrid solutions for mining

Replacing diesel with renewable energy on remote mine sites is an increasing goal in Australia but one that can’t be achieved without the reliability of energy storage solutions.

Renewable energy is changing the way Australia’s electricity network operates and with this change comes the risk of grid instability. Energy storage is helping to combat this issue and is altering the way we think about the electricity network.

The same is also occurring in the mining sector with Australian mining companies using energy from renewable sources and needing to find ways to ensure power supply is reliable.

Energy storage and, in particular, microgrids, is playing an important role in the sector by helping to ensure continuous supply, and reducing fuel requirements and CO2 emissions.

These technologies and issues will be discussed in depth at the Australian Energy Storage Conference and Exhibition (AES 2018), running from May 23–24 at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

One way the Australian energy and mining sectors are implementing these solutions is by looking to what other countries are doing.

Craig Evans, president and chief executive officer, and a founder of ESS, led the company to the commercialisation of the iron flow battery system in 2016 and will be presenting a case study of a microgrid in Texas with long-duration energy storage.

In 2017, ESS installed a 50 kilowatt (kW), 400 kilowatt per hour (kWh) energy warehouse (EW) battery at the microgrid to complement an existing wind turbine and solar photovoltaic (PV) installation.

The long-duration battery performs renewables shifting to smooth out the imbalance in supply and demand, enabling the microgrid to function independent of the grid even after the sun sets and the wind dies down.

Flow batteries are still a relatively new technology in the marketplace, but they are increasingly viewed as the best alternative for long-duration requirements.

For a more local look into energy storage and hybrid solutions for the mining industry, which often requires power for remote applications, AES 2018 will also feature a presentation by Rebecca Knol, CEO of the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy, the leading industry body representing the resources sector in South Australia.

Hear from Rebecca Knol and Craig Evans, among other mining and energy storage experts, at the Australian Energy Storage Conference and Exhibition. To register for the conference or the free exhibition, visit www.australianenergystorage.com.au/register.

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