Mines Turn to Microgrids to Meet Their Energy Needs

The mining sector in the U.S. is estimated to have used 11% of all the energy used by the industrial sector in the country. In Australia, estimates indicate that the mining sector consumes as much energy as the whole of Portugal uses annually. This puts mining high up on the list of industries using massive amounts of energy, and as fossil fuel supplies dwindle, there is a need for mining to switch to more sustainable sources of energy. The challenge is that many forms of renewable energy decline and increase depending on natural factors, such as changes in wind strength or the setting of the sun. Mining industry players have turned their eyes upon microgrids to address this challenge of ensuring a continuous supply of energy for their operations as explored below.

Glencore, a Swiss-British mining company, is showing that it is possible to use power storage systems and microgrids to tap renewable energy for use during mining operations…

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