Trapani K.,Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation MIRARCO 935 |
Millar D.L.,Laurentian University
Environmental Progress and Sustainable Energy | Year: 2015
The article looks at the integration of crystalline and thin film (a-Si) floating photovoltaic (PV) arrays for electricity generation in remote mine sites. Floating PV arrays rather than regular ground mounted PV arrays are considered more suitable for the site because it decreases the environmental impacts-in terms of not requiring landscaping or deforestation. The research provides a techno-economic analysis for the integration of varying levels of PV with 40 MW of diesel generation. The main challenge was the consideration of the gen sets part load together with the variability of the solar resource at the site. Applications of alternative technologies at remote mine sites are fairly limited. Results show that at a diesel fuel cost greater than $129c/L a-Si floating PV would offer some financial benefits. At this price, this is not applicable to floating crystalline PV arrays because the infrastructure required to keep them floating would offset the cost savings from the PV array. Further savings could be achieved if energy storage or load shedding could be implemented at the mine, or extra revenue could be generated through carbon credits. Solar energy for remote mine sites is not a solution to 100% of its electricity demands, unless an energy storage is available, so diesel generation is still a requirement. © 2015 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog.