Solar PV can help reach 30% cost savings at mines - study

Exemplary levelized costs of electricity for different power sources.

September 1 (SeeNews) - Operators of mines where solar photovoltaic (PV) systems complement existing diesel generators could achieve cost savings of 25%-30%, a new study shows.

Cost reductions from the PV side could even surpass 70% in very remote, off-grid locations with higher diesel prices, according to the report, conducted by Germany-based Cronimet Mining Power Solutions GmbH (CRMPS) and consultancy THEnergy.

At the same time, energy efficiency measures can account for electricity reductions of 5%-20% and load shifting for power cost savings of 5%-10%.

To complement the findings Cronimet Mining used operating data from the 1-MWp PV-diesel-hybrid power plant it built at its Thabazimbi chromium mine in South Africa. The particular facility is the first solar-diesel-hybrid system in the MW-scale.

The study “Solar, energy efficiency and load shifting for an optimized energy management in the mining industry” is based on interviews with experts from the mining and energy industries in Africa, Australia and Europe.

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