Aggreko reflects on sustainable modular energy innovation

Looking back on past innovation triumphs, Rod Saffy and George White from Aggreko discuss how these sustainable solutions have changed the mining sector

As one of the most challenging work environments, the mining sector is also prone to significant change and Aggreko is responsible for allowing businesses to adapt to those changes. 

The provider of modular solutions offers the mining industry power systems, temperature control units and energy sources that keep operations moving forward. The was founded in 1962, but only began its first venture into the underground mining space in 1991, supplying cooling options to businesses. 

The company’s latest technology solutions include a 130-kilowatt (kW) Ultra-Low Emissions Packaging, which is a world-first sustainable solution for on-site power generation, by eliminating 99% of all controlled carbon emission from diesel power generators. 

“In 1991, Aggreko secured its first ever mining project, which was at the Benambra zinc and copper mine in Victoria, Australia,” says George Whyte, Manager Director Aggreko Australia Pacific

“At the time we were the only company to put 1MW of power technology into a modular container. Later in 2001 we pioneered modular underground mine cooling in the rental market, also in Australia. Prior to that, mines would purchase fixed cooling and ventilation systems for their operations.

Modular renewable energy solutions for mining applications

According to Whyte, one of the main changes to take place in the industry and drive further sustainability is digitalisation, providing much-needed safety improvements and reducing emissions. 

 “Digital technology provides the data needed to reduce unpaid down-time on mine sites for instance or discover how solar and batteries behave under cloud cover,” says Whyte.

These efforts have been applied to various projects managed by the company. 

“Some other mines we supported early on included Mt Dimer, Youanmi, Century Zinc, Granites Gold Mine, and the Olympic Dam expansion – which is Australia’s largest open pit mine. Some of these mines are still around today.” Mr Whyte said energy services at mines had expanded since then,” Whyte says. 

“Where we once supported mines operationally with their short-term power and cooling needs, we organically developed into an engineering solutions provider, now active at more than 300 mines globally. Over time, our solutions have also become more complex from providing airflow modelling for underground cooling and ventilation to providing fully hybridised micro-grids.”

Over the past 30 years, Aggreko has been a leader and pioneer in power supply for remote applications and has devised a series of modular units to give miners more flexibility. 

  • Modular solar power solutions 
  • Organic Rankine Cycle technology, which utilises heat from generator exhausts as a power source 
  • Hydropower, wind and solar energy solutions 
  • Mobile wind systems and pumped, mechanical and flywheel energy storage 
  • Biofuel and hydrogen-based fuels 

“The mining industry has some of the most robust environmental and safety standards in the world and the innovations in the industry are truly exciting,” says Rod Saffy, Global Head of Mining at Aggreko

“Aggreko is truly a global company and consistency across our business practices has earned us a reputation for having the highest ethical, environmental, equipment and safety standards wherever we go in the world.”

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