The new edition of our “Top 5 Hybrid Energy News” features several applications in the commercial and industrial microgrid segment: two projects in mining and one in banking. We have also selected an island microgrid and rural electrification approach. The selected projects are in Mali, the Netherlands Antilles, Nigeria, Oman, and Niger. This edition features Resolute Mining, Ignite Energy, Wärtsilä, ContourGlobal, Unity Bank, Daystar Power, Nama Holding, Tanweer, GoviEx, and Windiga.
Resolute Mining procures 40 MW solar hybrid power plant for its Syama mine in Mali
The Australian mining company Resolute has signed a joint development agreement with Ignite Energy for the development of a 40 MW independent solar hybrid power plant at its Syama gold mine in Mali. The microgrid will combine solar, battery and heavy fuel oil technologies and will replace the existing 28 MW diesel-fired power station at the mine. It is expected to be operational by the end of 2020.
John Welborn, CEO of Resolute Mining Limited explains: “The Syama Gold Mine in the South of Mali is one of the most advanced underground mines in the world. Resolute is building the world’s first fully automated underground mine and we will power this mine with the largest off-grid hybrid power plant ever implemented for operating a mine. The combination of leading solar, HFO, and battery technology will provide Syama with sustainable low-cost power for future expansion, and the potential to provide electricity to the local community.” “The potential of hybrid projects to remote mines in Africa is significant and is expected to grow through a combination of cost reductions and increased efficiencies of renewable technologies, creative financing solutions, and forward-thinking and open-minded mine owners”, adds Grant Berndsen, Managing Director of Ignite Energy Projects.
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Caribbean island Bonaire combines solar, wind, diesel, and storage
Bonaire is part of the Netherlands Antilles. The Caribbean island will soon have a state-of-the-art microgrid that combines 11 MW wind, 6 MW new energy storage, a pre-existing 3 MW battery bank, and a small solar array. ContourGlobal has awarded Wärtsilä with the integrated 6 MW energy storage project contract for Bonaire. The renewable energy and storage assets will be used to limit the use of the 17 MW of diesel generators.
“The Caribbean will benefit greatly from hybrid projects. Primarily batteries will allow higher utilization rates for intermittent renewable energy. As an additional benefit, batteries can provide vital frequency support during any disturbances in a small grid keeping the lights on everywhere”, adds Sampo Suvisaari, Regional Director, Latin America North and Caribbean, Wärtsilä Energy Business.
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Nigeria’s Unity Bank to move the branch network to solar power
Unity Bank and Daystar Power have announced to move the power supply of the bank’s branches across Nigeria from diesel generation to cleaner and more efficient solar-powered solutions. Unity Bank is a Nigerian retail banks with 240 branches across the country and the eighth largest bank in Nigeria by business locations. The hybrid solutions include lead-acid battery storage systems that will act as a buffer for the evening and the early hours of the morning.
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Oman to install solar-diesel hybrid plants totaling 160 MW across 11 sites
State-owned Nama Holding’s subsidiary Tanweer – Oman’s Rural Areas Electricity Company – has launched the plan to build 160MW of hybrid solar-diesel power generation capacity in non-interconnected areas. The hybrid plants will be developed as independent power producer (IPP) projects at 11 off-grid sites. The final bid evaluation is planned for June, while contracts for the projects’ realization should be awarded in August.
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GoviEx has requested that Windiga develops a concept to power the Madaouela project and the surrounding local community through a hybrid power plant combining solar panels and diesel generators, with a total installed capacity of at least 20 MW. GoviEx targets a power purchase agreement for the priority supply of electricity for an initial term of 21 years, extendable at the request of GoviEx.
“It’s a tremendous time for the integration of renewables in the mining sector. The cost of energy using pure thermal solutions is becoming an issue for many operational mines and projects at the feasibility stage looking for financing. Contracted hybrid energy systems to an independent power producer can remove a significant part of the CAPEX while still offering great savings and predictability for the OPEX. Solar-diesel power plants are now unavoidable for this industry”, comments Benoit La Salle, CEO of Windiga.
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