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Attractive Economics and Cost Savings – Why Mines are Turning to Renewables?

Why Mines are Turning to Renewables?

This thought leadership piece provides insights from Rob Lydan and Michael Carreau of Hatch’s renewable energy team. The two offer perspectives for mining companies on the economics of wind and solar energy. They also present the challenges of integrating hybrid power solutions, and the 10-20% potential cost savings from moving towards alternative energy solutions.

If you asked miners to describe renewable power, you’d often hear words like ‘unreliable’, ‘expensive’, and ‘risky’, says Rob Lydan. That was up until quite recently. Lydan acknowledges that for many years, solar, wind, hydro, and other forms of renewable energy were intriguing. But, they seemed too expensive and too cutting-edge for the comfort of the mining industry. However, that’s all begun to change.

Over the past few months, the capital costs for renewables have continued to drop considerably. Consequently, many renewable solutions are now less expensive than diesel. “Wind power in a remote mining installation can reduce your cost of energy by 10-20%,” says Michael Carreau, Hatch’s Director of Renewable Power.

At the same time, the ability to engineer a hybrid renewable solution that is highly reliable has increased. With proper implementation and education, Carreau and Lydan are convinced that a hybrid renewable energy system can work just as reliably as running diesel generators on their own.

Take a look at the PDF for the full interview.