Optimising the mine to maximise electrification and renewables is a fundamental strategy to reduce mine site emissions. However, renewable power is, by nature, both fluctuating and intermittent, and constant power supply may come at a price premium when the majority of on or off-grid power is renewably sourced.
In the future, the mine and processing plant may operate within the energy envelope that is available through local renewable generation, supported by emerging energy storage technologies.
Designing for dynamic energy supply
Designing for variable energy supply requires an operational control system that can dynamically assign energy priorities to different parts of the process to balance the operation. This can provide operational resilience, allowing the whole-of-mine to manage the high energy costs and emissions associated with high reliability continuous operations. This is a very different paradigm to current practice. Where a mine is not grid-connected, energy supply smoothing can be achieved in part by diesel, gas generation, or by emerging battery and hydrogen-based options.
Integrating energy supply partners in early mine and infrastructure design allows for optimised mine and power solution planning. Modular hybrid power facilities for off-grid deposits are becoming available and are key to flexible mine solutions. We can partner with our sister company UGL and other key energy solution suppliers to integrate the delivery of processing and power infrastructure for your mine.