Australian Vanadium Subsidiary VSUN Energy Progresses Standalone VFRB Power System For IGO’s Nova Nickel Operation

Australian Vanadium Ltd (ASX:AVL) renewable energy and energy storage subsidiary VSUN Energy has progressed towards the delivery of a vanadium redox flow battery (VRFB) standalone power system (SPS) for trials to IGO Ltd’s Nova Nickel Operation in Western Australia.
This system will be the first of its kind deployed on an Australian mine site and will power a mining process bore pump, with a target of 100% renewable energy use.
The battery is being prepared for shipment from Spain and will travel to Western Australia where the VSUN Energy team will undertake testing in the Perth area before deployment to the Fraser Range operation.
Looking ahead, the SPS’s ability to continually power pumps for months on end using 100% renewable energy will not only significantly reduce the carbon emissions of the borefield but will also help reduce operational expenses for IGO.
“Long-duration renewable energy”
AVL managing director Vincent Algar said: “Following a difficult period for logistics and manufacturing around the world, we are excited about the progress on this SPS project with IGO.
“We are looking forward to receiving the battery in Australia and progressing through testing, installation and commissioning.
“VSUN Energy and E22 have worked together to develop a unique solution that we see as being able to satisfy a large demand in the local market, to supply a truly long duration renewable energy and energy storage solution for off-grid, diesel dependent customers.
“Mining companies need robust solutions to take continuous bore pumps off diesel and power them with renewable energy all of the time.
“We will continue to provide information about the trial to the wider community as it progresses.”
VFRB specification
The VRFB for the project has been constructed with 300-kilowatt hours of available energy storage capacity.
It will be paired with ground-mounted solar panels and integrated with a diesel generator to provide backup if required.
VRFBs have a number of unique selling points which include a high operating temperature range; nonflammability; a very long cycle life with no degradation over 20,000+ cycles and the ability to reuse the liquid vanadium electrolyte.
These are a just few of the features making it ideal for displacing diesel fuel on operating mine sites, as companies seek to lower costs and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
This SPS project is partly funded by a $3.69 million Australian Government manufacturing grant awarded to AVL under the modern manufacturing initiative resources technology and critical minerals processing national manufacturing priority roadmap.
The remainder of the grant is being used to finalise the high purity processing circuit for the Australian Vanadium Project; build and operate a commercial vanadium electrolyte manufacturing plant with an initial capacity of a 33-megawatt hour per annum and manufacture a prototype residential VRFB.
VSUN’s agreement with IGO will end 12 months from the date of the system being commissioned and the first power produced unless extended or terminated in accordance with the agreement.
The SPS is being provided to IGO at no charge, with the option to purchase or rent the system at the end of the trial period.