Wärtsilä energy storage system strengthens Zenith Energy’s power plan in Australian underground mine

Posted by Daniel Gleeson on September 14, 2021

Wärtsilä will supply a 9.2 MW / 8.7 MWh energy storage system to Zenith Energy, an independent power producer in Australia, to meet cyclical load demand in an underground mine.

The installed energy storage system will operate in parallel with an existing dual-fuel engine power plant with a total capacity of 65.98 MW, Wärtsilä said.

The energy storage system will be delivered on a technical equipment delivery basis and is expected to become operational in the March 2022 quarter. The order was placed in June 2021.

Zenith Energy is a regular customer of Wärtsilä and had previously purchased three running Wärtsilä 34DF dual-fuel engines which are used for constant load power. Zenith will add two more Wärtsilä 34SG pure gas engines to the current fleet in 2022.

The new energy storage system, combining the fully integrated GridSolv Quantum modules and the GEMS digital energy platform, will respond to more frequent cycle loading, the company said. The addition of storage will prevent the engines from frequently ramping up by managing power fluctuations at the mine site, thereby improving operational efficiency, resulting in fuel savings and a reduced carbon footprint for the mine’s power plant.

Simon Jelly, Head of Technology and Infrastructure, Zenith Energy, said: “Wärtsilä, as a supplier of motors and energy storage systems, offers the best available solution for delivering energy efficiently to our final customer. Adding an energy storage system that will also function as a spinning reserve to provide emergency and short-term back-up power will alleviate power interruptions. If such situations occur, the system will provide the load until a standby engine is started. In addition, the storage system will help further reduce the plant’s carbon footprint.

Kari Punnonen, Energy Business Director, Australasia, Wärtsilä, says: “For island networks, such as mining plants, where the energy source is limited, our energy storage solution can handle the reliability and efficiency of the energy supply. system and also support their decarbonization initiative. . Doing business with our client Zenith Energy reaffirms our technological leadership and our commitments to this market.

Wärtsilä’s GEMS digital energy platform will integrate Zenith’s motors and function as a power plant controller, providing a platform for intelligent control and optimized operation for the hybrid plant, he says. GEMS is also able to manage the remote network under a single portfolio in future operations.

With energy storage and advanced energy management system from Wärtsilä, Zenith will have future opportunities to seamlessly integrate other renewable energy sources such as solar PV or wind into this grid. hybrid, he said.

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