The Asia Miner

JUL-SEP 2019

The ASIA Miner - Reporting Important Issues to Mining Companies in the Asia Pacific Region

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Page 21 of 59

the asia miner • volume 16 • issue 3 20 WASTE TO ENERGY Rio Tinto plans planning to trial solar at 20 of its global operaঞons. The mining giant is following the earlier success at Weipa, where Rio Tinto Alcan installed a 1.2MW (AC) solar farm at its bauxite mine operaঞon in Far North Queensland back in 2015, with the support of AU$3.5 million in funding from Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). And more opportuniঞes are emerging. As global energy importers lay the groundwork for a low emissions future, hydrogen could provide an opportunity for our resources companies to maintain Australia's role as an energy export superpower. ARENA is invesঞng in projects that are exploring the potenঞal for hydrogen to be produced with electrolysers powered by the sun and wind – resources Australia is rich in. As demand for green hydrogen grows from countries like Japan and South Korea, Australia is poised to take advantage of its established trading relaঞonships to build a jobs-rich industry for generaঞons to come. The technology has the potenঞal to address energy and carbon goals as a zero-emissions fuel for heavy haulage equipment and machinery, as a means of firming renewable electricity and providing back-up power generaঞon, and even as a source of high-grade heat for mineral processing. Major and mid-tier mining leaders are working to understand the challenges that need to b addressed before hydrogen technology can hit the mainstream. We know the opportunity exists, but have work to do to understand the infrastructure requirements, costs, and safety standards. And in the short-term, there is an opportunity for established renewables to do more heavy li[ing – parঞcularly those in off-grid or remote locaঞons with limited access to exisঞng energy infrastructure. Resources industry embraces a renewable future West Australian-based Advanced Energy Resources (AER) has commenced construcঞon of its 3.5MW wind, solar and baery project to supply WA garnet producer GMA Garnet's Port Gregory wet plant operaঞons. The project, located 40 kilometres south of Kalbarri, will use various innovaঞons including a world first back- to-back microgrid inverter topology and refurbished Enercon wind turbines. Due for commissioning in late 2019, AER will build, own and operate the project which includes a 2.5MW wind farm, a 1MW solar farm and 2MW/0.5MWh baery energy storage system (BESS). The site is located in one of WA's weakest secঞons of electricity network, being 120 kilometres from the Geraldton substaঞon, at the northern extent of WA's South-West Interconnected System. Once commissioned, the project will be WA's first hybrid wind, solar and baery project. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will provide AU$3 million in funding to AER as part of its Advancing Renewables Program to commercially trial the back-to- back inverter technology. The technology will dramaঞcally increase the penetraঞon of renewable energy in microgrids located in weak, fringe of grid areas and increase reliability of supply for electricity users. The funding will provide a commercial demonstration of the technology which could have widespread opportunity for implementation in various settings. This commercial implementaঞon of the back to back inverter topology will be a world first. By decoupling the renewable energy generators and load from the electricity network, and locaঞng these within a standalone microgrid, the impact of variable renewable energy generaঞon on the electricity network is dramaঞcally reduced. The BESS will allow up to 100 per cent penetraঞon of renewable energy and uninterrupted power supply capability during network outages and has been designed to provide on-demand network support if required by the network operator. The use of refurbished turbines will be an Australian first. The project's five Enercon E40 turbines were decommissioned in northern Germany as part of a wind farm repowering project. AER decommissioned and transported the turbines and subsequently undertook an intensive refurbishment process of the wind turbines' blades and mechanical and electrical components. AER will undertake and manage all recommissioning of the turbines including assembly, commissioning and ongoing operaঞons and maintenance. AER Managing Director Luca Castelli believes the project showcases a number of innovaঞve approaches toward delivering reliable, low cost renewable energy to large energy users. "By thinking outside the box, and with ARENA's support, we have been able to commercialise a new approach to energy storage and renewable energy project delivery which will change the way that renewable energy generators are delivered in weak, fringe of grid areas and by customers who are unable to commit to long term power purchase agreements," commented Mr Castelli. Innovative battery technology to power Western Australian garnet producer AER BESS technology to power GMA Garnet's wet plant operaons

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