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Aggreko's modular battery system off to Granny Smith mine - International Mining

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Aggreko is set to deploy a new mobile and modular energy storage system at Gold Fields’ Granny Smith gold mine, in Western Australia, as the temporary power, temperature control and energy services company looks to expand its 10 GW fleet of distributed energy assets.

The deployment of Y.Cube, a fully integrated, ready-to-install lithium-ion battery system built on the expertise of energy storage firm Younicos, which Aggreko acquired in 2017, is all part of Aggreko’s hybrid microgrid solution at Granny Smith, one of the world’s largest renewable energy microgrids powered by more than 20,000 solar panels and backed up by a 2 MW/1 MWh battery system.

In addition to the Granny Smith deployment, Aggreko said the Y.Cube would be used in several African mining projects.

Housed entirely within a standard 20-ft (6.1-m) container, the 1 MW units can be delivered and quickly deployed worldwide, according to Aggreko.

The system can cover a variety of applications from 1 MW up to multi-MW power output and is available in two versions: a 30-minute ‘power’ unit and a 60-minute ‘energy’ unit, the company said.

“The 20-ft container houses batteries, inverters, heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), fire protection and auxiliary components. These are tested and pre-assembled by Aggreko experts and controlled by intelligent software,” Aggreko said.

It is designed for a wide ambient temperature range from -20°C to +50°C to match the often-challenging requirements of remote customer sites, the company added.

Dan Ibbetson, Managing Director, Global Products and Technology at Aggreko, said renewable energy is increasingly affordable, but not yet as universally available as it should be. At the same time, energy demand is increasing.

“Battery storage systems offer the flexibility required for safe and stable use of wind and solar power and increase the efficiency of thermal units.”

He added: “In the Y.Cube, we have successfully combined proven battery expertise from Younicos with Aggreko’s containerisation experience. The Y.Cube enables us to provide cheaper, cleaner and smarter energy wherever it’s needed for our customers.

“It is designed to fit seamlessly within the Aggreko existing fleet and can be easily combined with solar and thermal products to provide our customers with the lowest cost of energy. We are now building a fleet of Y.Cubes, which will enable us to quickly deploy on short notice.”

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, the company said. It can also be bundled with Aggreko’s other hardware systems as part of the company’s “Microgrids-as-a-Service” offer.

Karim Wazni, Managing Director, Aggreko Microgrid and Storage Solutions, said: “We’re already seeing considerable interest from a range of sectors and applications.

“One of the most economically attractive propositions is to combine the Y.Cube with natural gas and solar generation in off-grid applications. This could include remote mining sites, in weak grids like islands, or, with gas generators only to provide bridging power – for example in datacentres.”


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