Nevada Vanadium Mining Corp. selected Hitachi Energy, the technology and market leader in power grids, to provide consulting services related to the development of a renewable energy supply for the planned Gibellini mine in Nevada. Under the agreement, the two companies will work together to define the energy requirements for all mining operations at the site, as the first phase in the development of a 100% renewable power supply to address the mine’s energy needs. As part of the project, Hitachi Energy will collaborate with M3 Engineering and Technology (M3), which is responsible for the overall design of the mine operation at Gibellini.
The Hitachi Energy and M3 team work to ensure that the design of the required energy systems will provide safe and reliable power while enhancing overall project economics. Among the elements being examined as part of this collaboration are the typical mine power profile; the instantaneous maximum equipment demands for normal, emergency and transient operations; supply power profiles, interconnection options and general utility grid infrastructure capabilities; utility required evaluations for interconnection; utility required considerations for renewable, microgrid and storage facilities; opportunities for CO2 equivalent emission reductions through electrification of emission sources; and opportunities for partnerships with local stakeholders to provide sustainable energy to rural communities.
The Gibellini project is expected to be the first primary vanadium mining operation in the United States, with the start of operations anticipated by 2024. Vanadium is listed as a critical mineral by the U.S. Geological Survey due to the wide array of industrial uses, including national defense, aerospace, grid-scale energy storage, and rebar steel manufacturing. There is currently no primary domestic vanadium production in the U.S. China and Russia currently produce approximately 75% of the global supply of vanadium.
Over the past year, the U.S. government has taken various steps to signal its commitment to the development of a secure and vibrant domestic supply of critical minerals needed to support efforts to modernize the nation’s infrastructure, build a more sustainable energy system and enhance national security. The Gibellini project aligns with these objectives.
Nevada Vanadium envisions the establishment of a microgrid and battery energy storage system, fed by solar energy produced at the site. As part of the consulting scope, Hitachi Energy will explore requirements for the establishment of connections between the site and the local power grid. While the project is expected to be energy self-sufficient, links to the grid could enable the company to deliver power to the grid, and potentially local communities, when production is high, while also offering a backup power source to ensure reliable continuity of its operations.
“We have selected Hitachi Energy as a partner for this project because of their deep understanding of the power requirements of large-scale industrial operations, their extensive experience with the mining industry and their proven expertise in the integration of variable, renewable energy sources into power grids,” Nevada Vanadium CEO Ron Espell said. “Hitachi Energy also brings a wealth of knowledge about the design and deployment of microgrids and battery energy storage systems, which will be critical as we move into subsequent stages of this project.”