Thursday, 12 September 2013

Shedding light on solar power solutions
23 Aug 2013

Mining companies are always looking for the most cost and energy efficient power solutions to lower energy costs. They also want to minimise the use of diesel generators to reduce their carbon footprint, but how can they do it in this era of high power costs?

Australian Mining spoke to solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturer FirstSolar about how solar power is providing a compelling economic solution to a sector facing the challenges of high diesel fuel costs.

Vice President of FirstSolar Asia-Pacific Jack Curtis said while the economic advantage of solar PV is not a revelation, the real challenge solar power faces is its technical integration with existing power generator systems.

"As you would be acutely aware, the main concern for mining companies is that their mine runs 24/7. And obviously solar PV is reliant on the sun to generate power.

"What the gap has been to date is helping mining companies understand how solar PVs can integrate with existing power generation sources, which would provide an economic value without disrupting the continual supply of power to the mine", Curtis said.

According to Curtis, the buzz around solar PV has been around for the past two to three years but has really accelerated in the last 12 to 18 months. Mines are now showing a proactive interest in incorporating solar PV on their sites.


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