Remote mine training centre powered by hybrid energy solution
By Sustainability Matters Staff
Thursday, 10 August, 2017
A remote Indigenous-owned mine training centre in North East Arnhem Land, operated by the Gumatj Corporation, will feature the first commercial application of an off-grid hybrid energy solution developed by GE.
The hybrid energy system provides a 30 kW mini-grid using a combination of solar and battery storage, coupled with small-scale diesel power generation, to produce electricity. Suitable for remote commercial and industrial operations, it is digitally connected with GE’s Predix-based Asset Performance Management software application, which will allow for remote monitoring and diagnostics to ensure efficiency and reliability.
The system is currently being used to power the newly opened Gulkula Regional Training Centre, which was established to drive higher levels of employment for Yolngu people. Enclosed in a 6 m shipping container, the unit provided the training centre with 24/7 power for basic needs, including air conditioning and lighting. It delivers a reliable supply of electricity with up to 40% lower operating costs than diesel-only generators, according to GE.
Offering on-the-job training at the Gulkula mining operation, the Gulkula Regional Training Centre was established to drive higher levels of employment for the Yolngu people. With a core focus on mining, construction and environmental studies, the centre’s ultimate goal is for students to eventually manage and operate a 955-hectare lease extracting bauxite, which sits within Yolngu land.
“This mine training centre and mine operation is about helping Yolngu people develop specialised skills in mining to open up employment opportunities and better utilise the assets of our land,” said Djawa Yunipingu, deputy chairman of Gumatj Corporation. “Through training and education, our vision is to create a sustainable future for the Yolngu people.”
Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner welcomed the launch of GE’s hybrid energy solution, which came about following a US Embassy-led business delegation to Darwin in November last year.
“Implementation of this new innovative technology at Gulkula Regional Training Centre is exciting news and the first commercial application globally of GE’s new containerised hybrid energy solution,” Gunner said.
“It is great to see global innovators teaming up with local Aboriginal people to deliver cutting-edge technology.”
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