Wind power opportunities for remote mine sites in the Canadian North

S. Simard, K. Fytas, J. Paraszczak, M. Laflamme, and K. Agbossou




High energy cost and high wind resource are creating an interest for wind-diesel hybrid power production for remote grids in the Canadian North. With the first industrial wind turbine in Nunavik, the Raglan Mine has demonstrated the benefits and viability of wind power as an economical way to produce fuel savings and environment benefits. Results for the first year of wind power production are presented. An after tax economic rate of return of 22,4% is calculated for the project. Financial analyses of adding multiple wind turbines to the remote grid are carried out, using Homer Pro and Retscreen 4 software. Lower economical returns are calculated for every wind turbine added to the grid. A fuel cost superior to 1 CAD/L is needed to achieved a minimal rate of return of 15%, as the integration rate decreases for every additional wind turbine. Three energy storage options are evaluated in order to better utilise excess wind power. In presence of 2 or 3 wind turbines of 3MW nominal capacity each, a lithium-ion battery and a fly-wheel are financially the best energy storage technologies to increase the wind penetration. A hydrogen loop is calculated to be too expensive. An extreme high wind penetration rate, defined as 4 to 6 of the same wind turbine, is deemed not economically viable for the Raglan Mine, regardless of the energy storage technology considered.

Published in: Renewable Energy & Power Quality Journal (RE&PQJ, Nº. 15)
Pages: 173-178 Date of Publication: 2017/04/25
ISSN: 2172-038X Date of Current Version:
REF: 262-17 Issue Date: April 2017
DOI:10.24084/repqj15.262 Publisher: EA4EPQ

Authors and affiliations

S. Simard(1), K. Fytas(1), J. Paraszczak(1), M. Laflamme(1) and K. Agbossou(2)
1. Department of Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering. Laval University. Quebec City, PQ, Canada.
2. Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. Trois-Rivières, PQ, Canada

Key word

Wind power. Wind-diesel hybrid. Energy storage. Return on investment. Remote grid.


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