Capture the Spark03 Sep - 15 Oct
Achieve 100% renewable energy usage at West Musgrave
OZ Minerals is seeking novel solutions, systems and approaches that can assist in accelerating the speed at which operations at their future mine site, West Musgrave, become powered by 100% renewable energy. OZ Minerals is hoping to establish the West Musgrave project as a scaleable, low cost, long life, open pit mining operation.
The current design has already enabled renewable power to provide a large percentage (>70%) of the total power needs. OZ Minerals is seeking solutions that can be incorporated in the mine plan that can help to increase this contribution.
A known challenge with renewable energy is the variability in energy generation. Sometimes this can exceed demand, and sometimes it will not meet demand. During periods where demand is exceeded, if excess energy could be captured and made available for when there is fossil fuel demand, West Musgrave could reach 100% of all electricity demand being sourced from renewable assets.
This challenge invites individuals, teams and organisations, with viable solutions that can assist OZ Minerals in their target of 100% renewable energy usage at their West Musgrave mine. Early-stage and novel concepts are encouraged, as are commercially ready solutions.
Can you help OZ minerals achieve 100% renewable energy usage at West Musgrave?
The West Musgrave project is a planned open-pit copper and nickel mine located in the Musgrave Province of Western Australia. The West Musgrave Project is 500 km west of Uluru, near the intersection of the borders between Western Australia, South Australia and Northern Territory. The project is 30km south of the community of Jameson (Mantamaru).
A key focus for OZ Minerals is to plan for West Musgrave to be on a pathway towards 100% renewables (or zero carbon), through the use of renewable energy generation methods such as wind, solar and battery storage.
A key issue with renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, is the variability of power generation, which does not meet the energy demand curve of an operating mine. Currently, the West Musgrave Project is looking at a high penetration renewable solution to provide power for its mining and processing operations, supported by a fossil fuel fired power station. This includes wind and solar generation assets and a battery energy storage system. The current design has enabled renewable energy to meet 70 - 80% of total demand.
For the majority of operating hours, the available renewable energy is expected to exceed demand, which if captured, is projected to be sufficient enough to cover the remaining operating hours. However due to the costs, it is currently not economically viable to invest in storage solutions with sufficient capacity to capture and dispatch all of the excess energy. Therefore, an amount of energy is effectively lost, referred to as "spilled energy" and requires the use of non-renewable generation such as diesel power stations, to meet the remaining 20 - 30% demand.
What is OZ Minerals currently investigating?
To address the problem of meeting the remaining 20 - 30% demand with renewable energy, OZ Minerals are investigating several different avenues, some of which are listed below. However, the team at OZ Minerals do not expect any of the solutions currently being investigated to allow the operation to become fully powered by renewables.
- Demand Management - ways to create flexible, variable demand that would align with renewable generation profiles.
- Renewable Energy Generation Equipment - working with equipment manufacturers to design assets that may provide more stable and consistent generation in alignment with site demand.
- Renewable Energy Storage - reviewing various battery energy storage systems (BESS) with different technologies to optimise storage, however, currently it appears to be too costly to implement a solution that could store all the spill.
- Electric Mine Fleet - current equipment does not appear to be at an adequate commercial or technical level to meet the needs of the mine
To solve this problem OZ Minerals are seeking systems, technologies and novel approaches that can help them capture the “spilled energy” when available and make it available when there is fossil fuel demand. Then, West Musgrave could reach 100% of all electricity demand being sourced from renewable assets.
This is a difficult problem for a number of reasons:
- Cost - Constructing more renewable generation assets pushes up the overall cost of power and project costs
- Equipment - The cost and performance of existing storage systems (batteries) results in them not being a viable option.
- Operational Factors - Both the energy generation and demand curves are erratic meaning charge and discharge responses are very demanding. The erratic nature needs to be taken into account in addressing this challenge.
OZ Minerals recognises that solutions that support the effective capture, management and efficient distribution of renewable energy is an emerging field. Appropriate solutions may come from inside the resources sector or from other industries. This challenge welcomes innovative solutions, technologies, concepts and approaches regardless of their technology readiness, company stage or core industry.
The primary focus of this challenge is the identification of renewable energy solutions that can be incorporated into the plans for the West Musgrave project. Secondary to this goal, OZ Minerals is searching for novel and innovative renewable energy solutions that may have broader business applications across OZ Minerals operations, can be incorporated into future projects and may play a role in assisting OZ Minerals to transition to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
To support this challenge, OZ Minerals have made available 2 sets of data covering 10 minute intervals over a 12 month period.
- The first data set will include a spilled energy profile where the total annual spilled energy is quite close to the remaining fossil fuel generation
- The second data set will include a spilled energy profile where the total annual spilled energy is approximately 3 x’s the remaining fossil fuel generation
The following additional material and publicly accessible information will be available for this challenge:
- West Musgrave Project - FBICRC battery-supported mine electrification workshop, June 2020
The data for this challenge becomes available on this page once you have registered.
Individuals and companies who participate in this challenge will have the following opportunity:
- Gain Exposure within OZ Minerals – Your company, technology and proposed solution will be viewed by OZ Minerals management involved in the assessment of all submissions including the operations, transformation and technology teams within OZ Minerals.
- Connect with OZ Minerals Leaders – Individuals and companies who are selected and short-listed based on their proposal will be invited to discuss their solution further with OZ Minerals. OZ Minerals management will provide further, detailed background on the operational and digital landscape for your solution. You will have the opportunity to meet the OZ Minerals team for a deeper engagement and discuss your proposed solution and its contribution to the challenge.
- Win the opportunity to trial your idea or technology inside OZ Minerals – While we cannot make a binding commitment, the goal of this challenge is for OZ Minerals to identify individuals and companies as potential partners whom they can engage immediately and can support the co-creation of a solution that is “fit-for-purpose” and able to be trialed at an OZ Minerals site.
- Win OZ Minerals as a new customer – Following a successful trial, the opportunity exists to incorporate your solution within the West Musgrave project plan.
To avoid bias towards known solutions and approaches, and to encourage a wide range of submissions (i.e. existing products, engineering designs, process improvements, working prototypes, etc), we have not pre-defined a set of assessment criteria. However, submissions that recognise and address the problem most effectively will have a higher chance of success. Also, make sure your submission addresses its own potential shortfalls.
Things to consider when submitting your solution:
- Likelihood of solution success
- Value to OZ Minerals
- Technological innovation
- Capability of the team
- Quality of submission
If you have an existing product in the market which meets the requirements and has existing customers, you may want to demonstrate a case study, while a team proposing a new design could focus on how this could be tested or developed.
Submissions need to contain the following:
- A pitch deck (PDF or PPT) up to 5 pages describing your solution
- A completed application form
Submissions should include a business case for adoption of the proposed solution, and demonstrate how cost-effectiveness is achieved for implementation and ongoing maintenance.
You might also choose to use more creative ways to explain your solution, such as videos, mockups etc. To include these, you have an option to add a link in addition to your uploaded pitch deck.