The figure above illustrates that, at some point, more investment will not generate better value. You will reach a plateau where renewable energy added to the network will eventually produce less impact on fuel displacement.
Step 5 – Choosing a deployment plan
At this point, the stage is set. The question now will be how and when to deploy your renewable installations.
The answer depends on many factors, particularly:
- How much risk are you willing to take?
- What is your available capital?
- How much change are you willing to bring to your operation?
Typically, a cautious approach is to first learn about your operation and then phase renewables into your network. This approach, unlike any radical changes, will limit risks affecting power stability and disrupting your production.
Step 6 – Improving continuously
Keep in mind that your renewable system will not be optimal on day one. The initial operation will be conservative to properly manage electrical power generation and maintain your network power reliability.
Also, until you are confident with your system, expect large spinning reserves and possibly curtailment from your renewable network. Over time, you can tweak, improve and optimize operation to its full potential.
Value improvements can also be integrated as capital becomes available, if not carried out at the beginning. This includes adding predictive meteorology stations to better manage spinning reserve or incorporating battery storage.
At the moment, many remote mines are considering integrating renewable energy into their networks. Count on BBA to help you make the right choices.