June 25, 2017
Some of Australia’s leading experts in financing renewables for mine sites say more companies are getting funding over the line for projects, as lenders increase finance options as well as their skills in risk assessment. At the same time integrative technology is improving and costs are falling.
At the Energy and Mines Australia Summit, to be held in Perth on June 29 and 30, two key speakers – Phillip Mak, (Global Head of Resources, Energy and Northern Australia at National Australia Bank) and Chris Twomey, Transac- tion Consultant at the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) – both say renewables for mines have unique funding challenges which financial institutions and industry are slowly unpicking.
National Australia Bank’s Mak said industry, banks, and institutions facilitating renewables for mines are still under- standing the risks involved, particularly with regards to integrating diesel and gas power supplies with solar or wind for remote mine sites.
“The big challenge is convincing miners, investors and bankers, that the integration is very well understood and reli- able,” he said. “The integration can’t pose us any risk to power security as many mine sites are off-grid and contin- ued power supply, in remote mine sites, is crucial.”
Mak said many mine sites will be opting for hybrid power supplies, using a combination of renewable and diesel for example, and he was particularly interested in discussing the experience of others globally in this area at the conference. “The cost of installing renewables on a mine is falling, however no one wants to be left without power – the conference is timely to understand the global perspective on how power supplies can be integrated.”
ARENA’s Twomey said miners were on a slow learning curve with regards to renewables but the environmental and cost-saving benefits were real and now better understood. “Funding challenges are also due to the duration of the mining projects – miners want longer contracts and now most renewable energy mining projects require at least a 10-year mine-life to be commercially viable,” he said. “For banks to take that kind of risk over a 10-year period is difficult.” Twomey said understanding credit risk around renewable power contracts was also still difficult. “For banks to allocate funds – in the region of $10-20m (to put a 10-15 megawatt solar PV farm in an off-grid mine perhaps) – the level of transaction cost, time and effort is very high without knowing the risks,” he said.
Twomey said ARENA was now in talks with several WA companies to build renewable energy projects combined with resources and he regularly holds workshops with resource companies assessing whether to integrate solar and wind power for off-grid sites. He advised many to start small and scale up over time. ARENA focuses on four key areas: secure and reliable grids; solar PV research and development; energy productivity and exporting renewable energy.
Davin Berelowitz (Tec-C Investment) and James Hockings (Lighthouse Infrastucture) will join Mak and Twomey as panelists on June 30, discussing Evolving Finance Options for Renewables for Mines.
The Canadian-based company – Energy and Mines – is holding the Summit – bringing together leading global ex- perts in mining, renewables and energy storage – in Perth for the first time from June 29-30.
Energy and Mines, 4-2450 Lancaster Road, SR Law Office, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1B 5N3
Over 250 mining, renewables, government and mine-energy delegates are expected to participate in this Summit focused on accelerating affordable, reliable, low-carbon power for mines.
Current mining participants include senior representatives from Newmont, Rio Tinto, BHP, Newcrest, Panoramic Resources, South32, Fortescue Metals Group, BBI Group, Western Areas, Independence Group, Gold Fields, Australian Garnet, Australian Vanadium, TNG, Pilbara Minerals, Agrimin Limited, and Oz Minerals. Other large industrial users with energy intensive operations are also participating in- cluding senior representatives from Sun Metals, Shell, Woodside Energy, and Alcoa.
An international group of renewables, hybrid-power and storage experts are also taking part including: SunSHIFT, Enel Green Power, Honeywell, ARENA, SolarReserve, Juwi Renewable Energy, Onetide Modular Systems, Aggreko, Adani Australia Renewables, Caterpillar, Advanced Energy Solutions, Hatch, ABB, Advisian, GHD, Conergy, Lighthouse Infrastructure, Energy Made Clean, Redback Technologies, MPower, Tec-C Investments, Energy Developments, Hydro Tasmania, and VSUN Energy.
For more details, visit Energy and Mines Australia Summit website.
Adrienne Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 613 680 2482
Cate Rocchi, Chief Executive Officer, Perth Media email@example.com, +61 428 431 699
About Energy and Mines:
Energy and Mines is the leading global information and event media provider for energy management and operations of the mining sector. Through its global Summit series (Canada, South Africa, Chile, UK, Australia) web portal and newsletter, Energy and Mines brings together the mining and renewable energy sectors to drive solutions for affordable, reliable and sustainable power for mines.
About Adrienne Baker:
Adrienne is a global expert in renewable energy. She has been a director at Energy and Mines, Ottawa, Canada, for the past four years and a director of Canadian Clean Energy Conference for the past seven years. Prior to that, Adrienne was a producer at UK-based Green Power Conferences and was previously editor-in-chief at financial publishing firm Cross Border.