Syrah Resources, a graphite mining company, has achieved complete operation of its solar and battery hybrid system at its Balama operations in Mozambique. This system comprises an 11.25 MWp solar photovoltaic (PV) array, integrated with an 8.5 MW/MWh battery energy storage system (BESS).
The solar and battery setup is expected to meet at least 35% of Balama’s average power needs, resulting in significant reductions in diesel consumption and associated cost savings.
During operational testing over ten days, the integrated system supplied 33% of the total power demand, saving about 16,000 liters of diesel per day and achieving an average 34% reduction in diesel consumption per KWh of power generated. The system can provide power during daylight hours when the plant is operational and continuously when it’s not.
Balama’s diesel generators supply baseload power overnight and additional power during daylight hours, factoring in solar irradiation and overall site power demand. This achievement comes after years of feasibility studies, equipment procurement, construction, and commissioning efforts by Syrah, Solarcentury Africa, and Cross Boundary Energy (CBE).
Shaun Verner, MD, and CEO of Syrah, highlighted that the solar and battery system not only reduces operating costs and exposure to volatile diesel prices but also bolsters the environmental and social credentials of Balama’s natural graphite products.