Battery Energy Storage as a Way to Reduce Remote Mine Electricity Costs

Author(s) J. Janzen, F. Gemes, P. De Koning, T. Gerritsen
2013 World Mining Congress, Montreal, Quebec


This paper demonstrates that the introduction of a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) into an isolated diesel generator based grid has the potential to reduce the electricity cost and deliver a good return on investment. Energy storage also allows for increased renewable energy penetration, into the isolated grid, that further reduces the electricity cost. The isolated power system studied includes several diesel generators of different sizes. The typical operating pattern is for the generators to be run at 80% to 85% of their power rating to deal with load fluctuations. Operating the diesel generators near their full power rating, however, improves their efficiency, in this case, while the frequency and load control can be carried out by the BESS. Operating the diesel generators near their full power rating reduces the number of generators which need to be operating to support a given load. As a result, the improved efficiency of the diesel generators and reduced maintenance cost, for operating fewer machines, are the reason for the savings.