Inverter supplier Sungrow is supplying equipment to Juwi Renewable Energy for a hybrid 36MW off-grid solar farm and a 7.5MW battery energy storage system at Sukari gold mine in Egypt.
The project will be the largest solar-plus-storage plant at a mine site, which should facilitate the energy transition for minerals in the Middle East North Africa.
The project at the Sukari gold mine operated by Centamin is located near the Red Sea, which means it faces the challenge of scorching heat and high corrosion. Sungrow is supplying a 1,500V 6.25MW PV inverter solution with a highly integrated energy storage system with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries.
Smart forced air-cooling technology and a C5 high anti-corrosion capacity will help it operate stably in the harsh conditions.
Juwi’s solar system uses a bifacial solar PV module and single axis tracking system, which should help it take advantage of the high irradiance at the site. The solar and battery system will be integrated into the existing off-grid network and support the operation of the existing power station.
Alvin Shi, managing director of Sungrow MENA region: “We would love to provide the best of environmental sustainability with cutting-edge PV and storage portfolio as a pivotal player in the industry. The solar-plus-storage micro-grid solution is also an ideal solution for regions with power outages or high power demand.”
Hybrid energy production at mines is picking up
The project is scheduled to be commissioned in the first half of 2022. It will cut the mine’s diesel consumption by about 20 to 22 million litres a year. This would offset between 53,000 and 60,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year.
The solar-plus-storage installation will enable Centamin to reduce its mine’s electricity bills as the operator will partially shift away from fuel which is often volatile in price.
Dave Manning, director Global Hybrid at Juwi: “This global flagship project highlights significant benefits that African mines can unlock with solar battery hybrid solutions.”
The mining industry accounts for ten percent of the global energy consumption and many minerals play a vital role for the energy transition. Juwi has been working with mining clients ever since its first utility scale solar battery hybrid project at the DeGrussa Copper Mine and then at Agnew Gold Mine, both in Australia.