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  • Titill er á ensku Techno-economic assessment of using alternative energy technologies at a remote mining operation in the Yukon territory, Canada
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  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    The Canadian mining industry has historically taken efforts to reduce the energy intensity of their operations through energy management and efficiency measures. More recently, due to growing concern over climate change and improving alternative energy technologies, substituting fossil fuel based power systems with lower carbon emitting sources is a promising strategy to cut costs and reduce environmental impacts. This thesis aims to evaluate the techno-economic feasibility of using alternative energy technologies for power generation at a remote mining operation in the Yukon territory of Canada. This is a potential mining operation that is expected to be developed over the next decade, however no mining infrastructure has been constructed. The feasibility of using natural gas, wind and solar energy will be evaluated using site specific renewable energy resource data, mining power demand assumptions, as well as current technology and cost estimations. It was found that diesel generators offer the lowest levelized cost of energy (C$0.295/kWh). However, under a C$50/tonne carbon tax assumption, dual fuel generators capable of mixing natural gas and diesel is the most economic option, offering annual savings of C$600,000 and 6,000 tonnes reduced CO2 equivalent emissions, compared to diesel generators. Given the case study’s northern latitude and minimal solar radiation, solar energy is not considered to be a competitive alternative to provide electrical power to the mine. A power system consisting of a combination of dual fuel generators, wind turbines (accounting for approximately 10% of the mine’s electricity demand) and lithium-ion batteries has a marginally higher levelized cost of energy than diesel generators under non-carbon tax conditions (C$0.312/kWh). Although wind and solar energy were found not to be economically attractive options in this study, mining operations with access to higher quality renewable energy resources could make meaningful reductions in operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions by implementing hybrid renewable energy systems, including the use of natural gas or dual fuel generators.

  • 19.3.2018

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