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A gold mine in Australia will become one of the first sites in the world to test out a new, modular lithium-ion battery storage solution, after the German-American made technology was launched this week.
UK-based temporary power specialist, Aggreko, said on Monday that its fully integrated, ready-to-install 1MW lithium-ion battery unit – the Y.Cube – was ready to deploy worldwide, following its official launch.
The portable solution – which was developed by Aggreko’s fully-owned subsudiary, Younicos – is housed entirely within a standard 20-ft container, making it easy to transport and install.
And one of the first stops for the containerised battery system will be the Granny Smith gold mine in Western Australia, where it will be combined with solar to reduce the mine’s reliance on gas.
According to Aggreko, the battery system can cover a variety of applications from 1MW up to multi-MW power output and is available in two versions: a 30-minute “power” unit and a 60-minute “energy” unit.
In the case of Granny Smith, it is expected to work alongside an existing 21MW gas reciprocating engine station to meet the increased daily power needs of the mine, plus the nearby Wallaby underground mine, a processing plant, associated facilities, and mine camp.
This particular combination – combining the Y.Cube with natural gas and solar in off-grid applications – is described by the company as “one of the most economically attractive propositions” for the battery system.
“This could include remote mining sites, in weak grids like islands, or, with gas generators only to provide bridging power – for example in datacentres,” said Aggreko’s managing director of Microgrid an Storage Solutions, Karim Wazni.
“We are now building a fleet of Y.Cubes, which will enable us to quickly deploy on short notice,” Aggreko head of technology, Dan Ibbetson, said.
“The Y.Cube is available for short-term needs for as little as six months or for periods of years under Aggreko’s ‘Energy-Storage-as-a-Service’ model,” he said.
“It can also be bundled with Aggreko’s other hardware systems as part of the company’s ‘Microgrids-as-a-Service’ offer.”
For Gold Fields, the integration of renewables at the mine is about both environmental sustainability and innovation at its operations.
The company expects that that the solar and storage will help meet its goal of using renewable energy for at least 20 per cent of total life-of-mine power requirements in new projects.