The new edition of our “Top 5 Hybrid Energy News” is again about two projects at remote mines and also several projects in rural electrification. It covers projects in Australia, Nigeria, Russia, the Maldives, and the Philippines. It features EDL, SunSHIFT, South32, SunPower, Nigeria’s REA, Rocky Mountain Institute, the World Bank, Rockefeller Foundation, Hevel Group, Polymetal, the Ministry of Environment and Energy of the Maldives, Solar Philippines, and Tesla.
Energy Developments and SunSHIFT to build a 3 MWp solar plant at South32’s Cannington mine in Australia to reduce gas consumption
The solar plant will be developed to generate electricity for the mine’s accommodation village and airport, with surplus power to support the mining and processing operations. The new plant at South32’s lead-silver-zinc operation in Queensland will be the second largest solar installation at a remote, off-grid mining operation in Australia and the first to be integrated into a gas-fired power station.
Will Rayward-Smith, SunSHIFT General Manager said: “We have commercialized large-scale, modular and moveable solar PV technology to provide the mining sector with access to low-cost renewable energy on flexible contract terms. We hope to unlock the next wave of solar users within the mining sector in Australia and overseas.”
In mining, the movability produces clear benefits when the life of the mine is shorter than the lifetime of the solar power plant. This also has consequences regarding various components. PV modules with a higher efficiency come with the advantages that a smaller plant must be relocated. Chris O’Brien, chief commercial officer, SunPower Australia applies a similar reasoning: “Our high-efficiency solar panels produce 30 percent more energy from the same space in the first year compared to conventional panels. Also extremely durable, they’re optimal for a solar solution like SunSHIFT’s which may be repeatedly relocated over its lifetime.”
Nigeria rolls out 10,000 minigrids to electrify rural communities
Nigeria’s Federal Government has completed arrangements to roll out 10,000 minigrids to support electrification of underserved communities. The initiative is led by the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and supported by Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), the World Bank and Rockefeller Foundation.
Damilola Ogunbiyi, Managing Director at REA explains: “This is an exciting time for investing in the renewable energy sector in Nigeria. The Nigerian Minigrid Investment prospectus has quantified the Nigerian off-market potential as a $9.2bn/year market. The REA is confident that with its continued work on supportive policies, continued cost reductions, and targeted finance, the Nigerian minigrid market can scale rapidly to over 10,000 sites by 2023, powering 14 percent of the population with capacity up to 3,000 MW.”
Stephen Doig, a Managing Director at Rocky Mountain Institute adds: “The minigrid opportunity in Nigeria is unmatched for several reasons. First, there are gigawatts of loads that are currently served with more expensive generators. Second, the growth potential is very high with large additional loads likely to come on line once the businesses are established. Third, the government and the Rural Electrification Agency has created a supportive environment with clear regulations and a simplified process to establish minigrids. These conditions are hard to find elsewhere in the world.”
Hevel Group to build 1 MWp solar plant at Polymetal mine in Russia’s Far East for diesel reduction
The new solar plant will be built by the Russian Hevel Group at Polymetal’s Svetloye gold mine. Diesel reduction is estimated at 250t per year. It is the first solar-diesel hybrid plant for a mine in Russia. As Russia is among the top mining countries in the world, a significant market potential can be expected in this segment.
Installation of solar-diesel hybrid system at H. A. Atoll in the Maldives begins
Ministry of Environment and Energy of the Maldives reports that once the project is complete, the H. A. Atoll will have a 2.3 MWp solar PV system, 17 diesel gensets of 3.3 MW, and 2.5 MW of batteries.
Solar Philippines inaugurates hybrid plant with 2 MW solar, 2 MWh energy storage and 2 MW diesel backup
The plant brings cheaper, more reliable power to areas poorly served by utilities. Solar Philippines used a lithium-ion battery from Tesla. The project in Paluan, a municipality of Occidental Mindoro in the Philippines, was inaugurated on March 11.
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