A new solar array and battery storage system is up and running at a remote mining exploration camp in the eastern Yukon.
The 64-panel system can meet 90 percent of the camp’s electricity needs, according to Steve Rennalls, operations manager of Snowline Gold, the junior exploration company on whose property the system is located, which is within the traditional First Nation territory. in Na-Cho Nyäk Dun.
Until now, the 45-person camp relies on diesel generators for electricity – not only an expensive endeavor but also a noisy and environmentally unfriendly one, he said, noting that around 12,570 liters of diesel fuel would be wasted. every year thanks to the new order.
“The savings are twofold. There are energy savings, in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and a reduction in the burning of fossil fuels, but then, of course, there are financial savings as well,” said Rennalls.
“The cost of landing where we work is high. I mean, you can imagine the flight [diesel fuel] get on the plane.”
Designed and built by Solvest, the 27-kilowatt solar array – along with an ancillary 121 kilowatt-hour battery storage system – will run on a seasonal basis, in line with camp operations.
‘We’re happy to share our data’
The system seems to be a milestone.
“As far as we know, no one has done this on this scale and in such an isolated setting,” Rennalls said.
And the company isn’t being pushy about its new devices.
“We don’t compete with other junior miners in this space,” Rennalls said. “We’re happy to help them operate more efficiently in an environmentally friendly way, because that’s good for the whole industry.
“We are happy to share our data … and provide proof of concept that this is a viable alternative to the hum of a generator running 24/7 in the middle of nowhere.”
Alexandra Maltais, marketing manager at Solvest, told CBC News that the system’s design also marks a first.
“Our design team had to make it modular and mobile and then figure out how to get it to the site, logistically,” he said. “The design requirements are very specific, so this is also a first project, as well.”
The agreement was signed
Na-Cho Nyäk Dun Development Corporation and Snowline signed a five-year lease on the solar project.
Jani Djokic, CEO of the development corporation, told CBC News that the agreement represents a relationship between the two parties based on innovation.
“This specific investment is just, you know, setting a template for what can be done,” he said, adding that projects like this are not exclusive to the mining exploration industry.
“We see that this is the first of many of its kind, and, in fact, we want to have a fleet. [of systems] that we can deploy.”