Inverter supplier Sungrow set to deploy battery energy storage system for Sukari gold mine

EGYPT – Sungrow, the Chinese inverter solution supplier for renewables, has been contracted by Juwi Renewable Energy to supply inverters and a battery energy storage system (BESS) for the 36 MW off-grid solar plant at Sukari gold mine operated by Centamin in Egypt.

The battery energy storage system (BESS) will have a 7.5MW energy storage capacity. Sungrow is supplying a 1,500V 6.25MW PV inverter solution with a highly integrated energy storage system with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries.

Smart forced air-cooling technology and a C5 high anti-corrosion capacity will help it operate stably in the harsh conditions. 

The project is located near the Red Sea, facing the challenge of scorching heat and high corrosion. The facility will be the largest solar-plus-storage plant located at a mining site, significantly accelerating the energy transition for the minerals sector in the MENA region.

“We’re excited to support the decarbonization of the mining industry and drive down energy costs for our customers. We are delighted to partner with entities such as Sungrow to unlock long-term benefits for all our stakeholders,” said Amiram Roth-Deblon, Director Global Business Initiatives at Juwi AG, the EPC company.

It is scheduled to be commissioned in the first half of 2022. It will cut the mine’s diesel consumption by approximately 20 to 22 million liters per year and thus offset between 53,000 and 60,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

“The solar-plus-storage microgrid solution is also an ideal solution for regions with power outages or high power demand.”

Alvin Shi - Managing Director, Sungrow MENA Tweet

The solar-plus-storage microgrid installation will enable Centamin to tangibly reduce its mine’s electricity bills, as the operator will partially shift away from fuel, which is often volatile in price.

Juwi’s solar system uses a bifacial solar PV module and single axis tracking system, which should help it take advantage of the high irradiance at the site. The solar and battery system will be integrated into the existing off-grid network and support the operation of the existing power station.

“We would love to provide the best of environmental sustainability with cutting-edge PV and storage portfolio as a pivotal player in the industry. The solar-plus-storage microgrid solution is also an ideal solution for regions with power outages or high power demand,” said Alvin Shi, Managing Director of Sungrow MENA region.

A growing number of mining companies with African operations are making significant headway to cut their electricity costs through deploying renewable energy to meet their energy needs.

Mining companies like Zimplats, Gold Fields, Royal Bafokeng Platinum etc. are some of the mining companies that have announced renewable energy projects for their operations.

Renewable energy makes sense for miners as it also enables them to reduce the environmental impact of their daily operations.

The mining industry accounts for ten percent of the global energy consumption and many minerals play a vital role for the energy transition. Juwi has been working with mining clients ever since its first utility scale solar battery hybrid project at the DeGrussa Copper Mine and then at Agnew Gold Mine, both in Australia.

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