A mining operation in South Africa will start managing the cost of its consumed energy with the deployment of eight flow batteries from Primus Power.
Anglo American Platinum, listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE) with mining, smelting and refining operations in South Africa, will install 200kW / 1,000kWh of energy storage in the form of Primus Power’s EnergyPod 2 units at Amandebult, a mine in the Limpopo province.
Amandebult is actually grid-connected and the flow battery systems will be designed to manage the peak use of grid power. During those peak periods when commercial users of electricity in particular are charged the highest rates – the energy storage units will feed their stored energy into the mine’s operational circuits, thereby reducing its need for that more expensive grid power.
The platinum company is already deeply involved with California-headquartered Primus Power. As part of Anglo American Platinum’s own initiative to invest US$20 million each year over five years, with an additional US$20 million from outside investors over that period, in developing the market for platinum in South Africa, it chose to become an investor in Primus in 2014. There appear to be strategic and synergistic reasons for this investment, as Anglo American supplies metals which are used as catalyst to the EnergyPod’s titanium electrodes. Primus uses the titanium electrodes instead of graphite, which is commonly used by other makers with CEO Tom Stepien explaining why in this interview with Energy-Storage.News last year.
These are not the first Primus Power zinc-bromine battery EnergyPods deployed in the country. National utility Eskom is testing the systems at its large-scale energy storage test facility in Rosherville, Johannesburg, with Anglo American Platinum also involved in that project, also supported by the US Trade and Development Agency. Local partner SolAfrica developed that project and was awarded the USTDA grant in late September of last year .