The Use of Renewables in Mining Operations

September 2, 2015 By Carl Weinschenk

thenergyMining operations consume a tremendous amount of energy. These firms, therefore, are interested in solar power. The attraction of solar is even greater due to the fact that mines often are far from the grid.

A German company, Cronimet Mining Power Solutions, has built a solar-diesel hybrid power plant at the mega watt scale at Cronimet Chrome SA Ltd.’s Thabazimbi chromium mine in South Africa, according to the company.

The plant reduces diesel consumption through the integration of a photovoltaic power plant. The engineering requirements are far higher in such a scenario than in a traditional grid-connected power plant, however.

Solar power is a tool in the mining industry. Last year, SunEdison signed an agreement with Antofagasta Minerals SA to run a 69.5 mW photovoltaic power project at its Los Pelambres copper mine Chile. The plant already used wind energy and planned to introduce hydro power. By the year, 30 percent of the mines energy would come from renewable sources, according to Clean Technica.

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