Aggreko plans hybrid plant for Gold Fields' Salares Norte

British power generation company Aggreko has been chosen by South African miner Gold Fields to develop a hybrid solar and thermal power solution at the Salares Norte open pit mine in Chile.
Aggreko plans hybrid plant for Gold Fields' Salares Norte Aggreko plans hybrid plant for Gold Fields' Salares Norte Aggreko plans hybrid plant for Gold Fields' Salares Norte Aggreko plans hybrid plant for Gold Fields' Salares Norte Aggreko plans hybrid plant for Gold Fields' Salares Norte

Salares Norte is estimated to have reserves of 5.2 million ounces of gold

Aggreko will design and develop a 25.9 MegaWatt plant that will power the mine entirely. The project will use 30 G3+ diesel gensets customised for the project's location 4,500m above sea level.

The company will also install 9.9 MW of solar capacity at the plant in the Atacama region, noting that the altitude and extreme wind conditions required specially designed units using domed PV structures.

The project is expected to save Gold Fields US$7.4 millionin energy costs over the next decade, as well as a further US$1.1 million in carbon tax offset over the project's lifetime.

The system will deliver modular power supply across all five of the mine's distribution points, and surpasses the Chilean government's environmental standards for a minimum of 20% renewable power generation for mining operations.

"Hybrid products, such as the one we are deploying for Salares Norte, enable a reliable and flexible power supply whilst reducing carbon emissions," said Pablo Varela, Latin America managing director at Aggreko.

Salares Norte is estimated to have reserves of 5.2 million ounces of gold, 39.2 million ounces of silver and 695 million pounds of copper.