Solar power project benefits diamond miner

ALROSA’s Nyurba Mining and Processing Division has assessed environmental and financial benefits of its solar power project. The integration of solar energy collectors into the heating system of Nyurba base camp allowed reducing greenhouse gas emissions and a consumption of expensive oil fuel and water, corporate website reports.

ALROSA’s main operations are in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in Far Eastern Russia. Winters are long and summers are short there and the region is relatively sunny. For Sakha’s cities, average annual sunshine is between 1.7K and 2K hours. ALROSA’s Nyurba MPD invested RUR 4.5 mio to install 150 solar panels (300 sq.m) three years ago.

“Solar power use in Yakutia is underdeveloped despite high costs for oil which needs to be transported from offsite. It is due to significant initial investments and lack of experience on the regional level. ALROSA decided to implement solar energy collectors into a heating system of Nyurba base camp after a successful small-scale pilot project launched in 2013. An estimated payoff period for the current project is five years. Solar panels supply clean and environmentally friendly energy”, Polina Anisimova, ALROSA’s Chief Ecologist, says.

Solar energy collectors generate heat for Nyurba’s base camp in summer days – instead of the oil-fired boiler. Closed water cycle means no wastes are generated. Implementation of the project resulted in reducing oil consumption by 85 tons and greenhouse gas emissions by 271 tons of СО2-equivalent.

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