Energy and Mines, Melodie Michel, November 2017:
ESS’ CEO, Craig Evans was interviewed as part of Energy and Mines “Microgrids for Mines: Global Perspectives” report on the importance of using storage to deliver stability and efficiency in the mining industry.
Delivering power stability with storage
If power reliability is miners’ biggest problem, storage has to be its most obvious solution. Craig Evans, CEO of ESS Energy, explains that the combination of renewables and storage can also lead to significant cost savings.
“If you’ve got a microgrid and you are oper- ating off of diesel fuel, your typical electricity cost is going to be 30 to 40 cents per kWh. You’ll have the opportunity to integrate solar with storage to reduce that diesel fuel cost to the point where you’re down to 10 to 15 cents per kWh,” he reports. “On top of that, if you’re connected with the grid and you have tariffs to deal with, those tariffs can bring on demand charges, peak rates etc. When you add renewables and storage, you can move the cost of energy to the point where you won’t need that, you can make that storage your base load.”
Miners should first understand the complex- ity of the different systems and how they can fit their particular needs, as there is no standard solution. Mining operators will want to analyse all the costs including installation, transportation, disposal over the life of the project. As ESS’ Evans notes: “The solar and wind industry have used LCOE technology for decades but when people look at batteries, they tend to only look at capex, and that’s not the right way to look at things.”