Australian gold producer Gold Road Resources Limited (Gold Road) selected Unlimited Energy Australia to realise a key step in minimising its environmental footprint and reducing operating costs by deploying a state-of-the-art renewable energy system.
The new system comprises a solar Photovoltaic (PV) array combined with a Tesvolt lithium energy storage hub. Driving this approach was the requirement to offset the use of existing onsite diesel generators, thereby reducing the associated carbon emissions, and the cost of diesel and related logistics, at the Yamarna exploration camp located approximately 1,200km north-east of Perth.
Sharon Goddard, General Manager- Social Performance & External Relations said “the minimum impact on the environment, modular design, ability to relocate, economic viability and extendibility of the system are the main benefits that led Gold Road to install Unlimited Energy Australia’s renewable energy solution.”
The modular energy hub design enabled fabrication to be completed offsite thereby minimising installation time on the remote site, as well as the ability to relocate or repurpose the system to meet a variety of potential future exploration needs if required.
Realising the environmental and cost benefits played a significant part in the adoption of this renewable energy solution. The recent global challenges caused by the COVID-19 crisis further highlights the importance of energy independence. The risk to economies and businesses globally when logistics and supply chains are disrupted have become increasingly prominent. Reducing the frequency of diesel fuel transportation contributes to safeguarding Gold Road from these real risks. Gold Road is also positioning as a future leader in sustainability, installing renewable energy at its exploration camp is part of this journey and underlines management’s commitment to the environment.
In the early stages of the project Unlimited Energy Australia developed an Energy Optimisation Plan. Decisions pertaining to the technology solution, system sizing and installation were derived from the substantial amounts of load and demand data collected from the site.
Unlimited Energy Australia’s CEO, George Zombori, said “we design energy solutions that meet the specific needs of our clients and make good economic sense. Tracking a client’s usage patterns is critical in designing a solution which drives energy and cost saving strategies.”
The team at Unlimited Energy Australia custom-designed the energy storage hub and surface mounted solar PV array locally. The innovative design significantly expedited the installation process delivering a system that is reliable, re-deployable, modular and scalable.
Understanding the harsh Western Australian conditions and remoteness of the site, the decision to use the resilient, award winning German manufactured Tesvolt lithium-based energy storage system was an easy one.
This completely off-grid self-sustaining energy solution will offset between 70 – 80% of the camp’s diesel consumption, delivering environmental and cost benefits to Gold Road’s exploration operation.
“We know that there is a perception that battery storage technology is an emerging technology, so eliminating the risk was of utmost importance to us. Our Tesvolt technology selection ensures one of the safest battery cells on the market, long term performance warranties and batteries that have been tried and tested in conditions common in such remote Australian locations” explains Mr Torsten Ketelsen, Managing Director Unlimited Energy Australia.
“Our successful deployment of this system will certainly provide confidence to the resources sector that these technologies are now readily available, technically advanced and economically viable to serve their energy needs.”
The 187kW PV system with 408kWh of Tesvolt lithium-ion energy storage system is now fully operational and able to reduce diesel runtime from 24 hours to 2.4 hours producing in excess of 1 megawatt hours of renewable energy every day.
The Renewable Energy Hub was officially opened at the Gold Road Yamarna exploration camp by WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum the Hon Bill Johnston MLA and Mr Duncan Gibbs, CEO Gold Road Resources Ltd on 17 December 2020.
Minister Johnston commended Gold Road on the adoption of the innovative new technology outlining how such projects are positioning Western Australia as a leader in the application of renewable energy solutions in the resources sector.