ALROSA, a Russian mining company with partial state ownership, is the global leader in the diamond mining industry. ALROSA's main production assets are concentrated in Western Yakutia.
In 2019, ALROSA Group decided to use solar generation to improve the quality of power supply, reduce expenditures on diesel fuel consumed to supply power to remote road outposts on the Ust-Kut (Irkutsk Region) – Mirny (Yakutia) winter road, which are located far from infrastructure, and to reduce the negative impact on the environment. In early 2020, ALROSA's Mirny Automobile Roads Division (MARD), together with Hevel Group, installed stand-alone hybrid PV-power units at Uzhman and Nepa remote road outposts.
Hevel Group designed, manufactured, and delivered the equipment: two stand-alone hybrid power units consisting of photovoltaic modules with a capacity of 7.44 kW each, a 76kWh electricity storage system, a 14.4 kW backup diesel generator, an inverter, and satellite equipment for remote monitoring of the systems.
The stand-alone hybrid power units installed at the remote road outposts conserve resources, reduce costs, and provide uninterrupted power around the clock to the living quarters of employees who maintain road infrastructure.
"The project aims to improve the energy sector's economic and environmental indicators by reducing fuel costs and atmospheric emissions. In a hybrid installation, the diesel generator serves as a backup power source when solar energy is insufficient or fully consumed. The system automatically records the amount of electricity produced and resources consumed. Such a system has sufficient capacity for lighting, communications, and electrical appliances," said Andrey Golubin, MARD's chief power engineer.
In 2019, MARD had already installed similar equipment at remote road outpost PK 150.
ALROSA has also been using solar energy for several years in the heat supply system at the camp of Nyurba Mining and Processing Plant. According to the ALROSA Environmental Center, the solar collector system made it possible to reduce imported oil consumption by more than 85 tons by generating over 200 Gcal of electricity.