Source: juwi Renewable Energies

Cape Town-based juwi Renewable Energies, has entered into a collaboration agreement with a subsidiary of Orion Minerals Limited to investigate renewable energy generation for the Prieska Zinc Copper Project.

The basis of the agreement is to investigate the feasibility of generating and supplying 35MW of electricity from a hybrid power system using integrated wind and solar technologies.

The renewable energy generation site will fall within 20 kilometres of the project site, making the establishment of a dedicated feed via overhead power transmission line possible. Read more: Decentralised renewable energy producers can help relieve pressure on the grid

Commenting on the agreement juwi’s managing director, Greg Austin, said: “We are pleased to have this opportunity to work with Orion Minerals and to advance the use of renewable power in the mining industry.

"Hybrid systems are at the forefront of transforming the remote power generation sector and the resource industry into one with a sustainable future as they offer emission-free low-cost energy.”

Orion’s managing director and CEO, Errol Smart, commented: “The agreement is in line with our strategy to make best use of our geographic advantages. The region has the highest irradiance levels in the country and is very well-situated for wind farms.

"It is already a well-established renewable energy generation region with 190MW of solar power plants in operation and 240MW of wind power under construction adjacent to our Prieska Project. The opportunity can only improve our power supply security, whilst lessening the burden on the national electricity grid and reducing our carbon and water footprint.”

The investigations into renewable energy will complement the bankable feasibility study (BFS) for the Prieska mine of Orion Mineral. Developing the renewable energy potential of the region is also a strategic goal of the local government, as communicated in their Integrated Development Plans.