Solar power idea embraced at coal mine site
12 January 2024
Tahmoor Coking Coal continues to embrace the GFG Alliance Carbon Neutral by 2030 (CN30) ambition with another power-saving initiative at the SIMEC Mining colliery in New South Wales.
Driven from within by two of the mine’s electricians, Josh Porteous and Nick Morgan, an opportunity was identified to go solar on the operation’s administration building.
In the process of researching electric cars for themselves, Josh and Nick (both former apprentices at the mine and now qualified tradespeople), spoke with suppliers about the possibility of solar power at the mine and consequently presented Electrical Engineering Manager Craig Hooke with a comprehensive proposal and quotes.
“Not only was this initiative and proposals appreciated, it was fantastic that it came from two people that started their journey with us an apprentices and are now tradespeople who are fully invested in the operation and our commitment to CN30,” Craig said.
The proposals were accepted and formulated into a pilot program for a 40Kw system consisting in 90 solar panels. The team at Tahmoor then worked closely with SIMEC Energy, and in particular Project Engineer Saad Malik, to ensure the project’s success. Saad was able to secure the best commercial deal and internet approvals for the new system.
With a payback of three and half years, the new system will power the admin building for most of the year while putting money back into the grid, saving money and reducing the mine’s carbon footprint in line with the GFG Alliance CN30 ambition.
The system, being a pilot project, will be monitored by the electrical department and will be on show for all employees with a big screen in the admin building that will show the performance of the solar system in real time. Feeding into this live reporting will also be the power generation from the gas-to-electricity plant already in place at the mine.
“We have plenty of buildings and facilities in the mine, we are reviewing opportunities where we could potentially put additional solar panels and generate more electricity,” Craig said.
“That’s the ambition and that’s the goal to reduce our carbon footprint and do our bit towards our GFG Alliance CN30 ambition.”
Main image: Bright sparks Josh Porteous and Nick Morgan at Tahmoor