The summer edition of our “Top 5 Hybrid Energy News” includes two new projects in the mining sector. The three other projects are all on islands. Mining and islands are two segments of the microgrid market that have increasingly gained momentum in the last months. The new edition features TATA, DHYBRID, GMA Garnet, Advanced Energy Resources, MPower, LUX Hospitality, Aera Group, Solar Design Associates, and U.S. Agriculture Department.
Solar-Diesel Hybrid Plant Commissioned at TATA Steel Iron Ore mine
TATA Steel has inaugurated India’s first solar power project located at one of its iron ore mines. The 3 MW PV plant is situated at Noamundi mine, in the state of Jharkhand. The solar plant will help TATA Steel replace a part of the electricity it consumes from both the grid and from diesel-based generators. This will lead to an expected reduction of CO2 emissions by about 3,000 t per annum.
The hybrid control systems were provided by DHYBRID. Their CEO Benedikt Boehm comments: “For large industrial applications like this iron ore mine, availability of energy is vital for the operation and business model. The remote locations of these mines often pose the challenge of a weak-grid infrastructure, for which sophisticated hybrid systems represent a reliable and efficient energy supply solution.”
GMA Garnet and Advanced Energy Resources Have Signed a PPA for the Output of a 3MW Wind and Solar Farm with Battery Storage
The 3MW hybrid renewables power station will initially supply almost 70% of the miner’s electricity needs, with the aim of transitioning it to 100% renewable energy. It will also deliver a more secure power supply to the mine, which is located at the fringe of the Western Power grid, 120km from the nearest substation.
The Australian arm of the world’s largest industrial garnet producer, GMA Garnet, has signed a long-term power purchase agreement with WA-based Advanced Energy Resources (AER) for the output of the microgrid, to be built south of Kalbarri, Western Australia. AER will build, own and operate the AUD8 million project.
MPower to Build a Large-Scale 5.6 MWh Battery Energy Storage System on the Cook Islands
The Australian renewables company MPower secured a contract to design and install a 5.6MWh battery system in Rarotonga, the capital of the Cook Islands in the Pacific. The AUD4.1 million battery energy storage system will be added to the 1MW Te Mana Ra solar PV facility, to create one of the largest solar energy storage systems in the Pacific. The addition of battery storage will help maximize the benefits of the solar plant, that is part of the island grid. The Cook Islands have traditionally been dependent on diesel-power stations.
The 20kWp solar plus storage project will allow for 11 hours of utilization daily and fulfill self-sufficiency of the property including during night-time. The installation fully substitutes diesel-based power generation for the needs of the off-grid island resort Ile des Deux Cocos, which is located in South-East Mauritius. The project is carried out in partnership with Aera Group. The climate finance company is engaged in carbon compensation projects across Africa and Asia.
Paul Jones, CEO of LUX Hospitality Ltd explains: “The project will hence reduce emissions by ~100t of CO2-equivalent annually, a key objective of our ‘Tread Lightly by LUX*’ initiative. The expected outcome also aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement which has been ratified by 160 countries, including Mauritius. We intend to continue in this direction.”
Massachusetts Island Discovers Solar Energy
Cuttyhunk island had previously relied solely on diesel-powered generation with fuel delivered by barge for all its electricity. The new microgrid has a capacity of 352kW PV plus 1,000 kWh of lithium-ion electric storage. The system, developed by Solar Design Associates Inc., was supported by a U.S. Agriculture Department rural electrification grant.
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