PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Graphite miner Syrah Resources has achieved full operation of its solar and battery hybrid system at its Balama operations, in Mozambique.
The company on Wednesday said that the 11.25 MWp solar photovoltaic (PV) array, which incorporated 20 832 solar modules with a surface area of 53 800 m2, had been fully integrated with an 8.5 MW/MWh battery energy storage system (BESS).
The solar and battery system is expected to contribute at least 35% of Balama’s average site power requirements, significantly reducing diesel consumption and product carbon equivalent emissions at Balama and yielding associated cost savings.
The solar and battery system can solely supply Balama’s power requirements during peak daylight times with the plant operating, and continuously if the plant is not operating. Balama’s diesel power generation plant (diesel gensets) will provide baseload power requirements overnight and incremental power requirements during daylight hours considering solar irradiation, power availability from the solar and battery hybrid system and overall site power demand.
The company told shareholders that in operational testing over ten days during Balama’s recent production campaign, integrated power supply from the solar and battery hybrid system and diesel gensets was achieved with 33% of the total power draw supplied by the solar and battery hybrid system, along with 34% average savings in diesel consumption per KWh power generated, equating to around 16 000 l of diesel savings a day.
The solar and battery hybrid system powered the plant and site for around eight hours a day, on average, during daylight hours.
“The achievement of full operations of the solar and battery hybrid system is the culmination of extensive feasibility study, equipment procurement, construction and commissioning activities completed by the Syrah team, Solarcentury Africa and Cross Boundary Energy (CBE) over several years,” said Syrah MD and CEO Shaun Verner.
“The solar and battery system delivers significant net operating cost savings, reduces our exposure to volatile, high diesel costs and further strengthens the environmental, social and governenance credentials of Balama’s natural graphite products. We look forward to continuing to work with CBE through the operating lease term.”