Rolls-Royce is expanding its portfolio of energy systems with the addition of microgrid solutions for mines from MTU Onsite Energy. This means that mine operators will now be offered a sustainable energy supply system that can be operated in remote regions independently of public power grids. The solutions combine renewable energy sources with a battery storage system and both diesel and gas generator sets, in addition to a central controller to ensure that the mine’s entire demand for electricity is made available in a reliable and efficient manner, and one that is friendly to the environment.
“For mine operators, energy costs, which account on average for 15 % of the overall operating costs of mine, are a key factor,” Lars Kräft, Vice President Industrial Business at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, explains. “And with a demand for electric power of 50 to 100 MW per mine, sustainability, efficiency and the reliability of the energy supply are now becoming increasingly important in the industry. We have identified our customers’ needs and, with our microgrid systems, are now offering them a solution tailored to their specific requirements,” he adds.
Besides diesel and gas generator sets from MTU Onsite Energy, the solutions offered by Rolls-Royce also include battery containers combined with photovoltaic and wind power plants in autonomous power grids. All the components are connected to each other via a smart energy management system, which optimises the way in which the energy is used both technically and commercially. Any excess renewable energy can be stored in the batteries and then made available whenever it is needed. At the same time, fluctuations in power generated from renewable energy sources due to weather conditions and the time of day are compensated for with reliable diesel and gas generator sets, in addition to battery storage systems. The system is thus designed to provide a stable power supply at all times – even when the demand for electric power is high and when systems are required to operate around the clock.
Using renewable energies and the associated benefits of carbonisation means that mine operators can make considerable progress in achieving a significantly more sustainable energy supply, which also benefits their stakeholders, such as investors or communities located close to the mine. Due to the integration of renewable energies and the smart networking of all components, there is a significant cost benefit to mine operators. Fuel costs can be reduced for example, in addition to the saving of costs required for connecting mines to the power grids.