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Journal of Solar Energy
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 617356, 10 pages
Research Article

The Potential of Concentrated Solar Power for Remote Mine Sites in the Northern Territory, Australia

1Centre for Renewable Energy, Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods (RIEL), Charles Darwin University, Casuarina Campus, Darwin, NT 0909, Australia
2School of Engineering and IT (SEIT), Charles Darwin University, Casuarina Campus, Darwin, NT 0909, Australia

Received 29 June 2015; Revised 13 October 2015; Accepted 13 October 2015

Academic Editor: Santanu Bandyopadhyay

Copyright © 2015 M. H. Baig et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Northern Territory (NT) is among the regions in Australia and the world with the highest solar radiation intensities. The NT has many mine sites which consume significant amount of fossil fuel with consequent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The environmental concern related to the fossil fuel consumption and availability of immense solar energy resource in the NT open the possibilities for considering the provision of power to the mining sites using proven solar technologies. Concentrating solar power (CSP) systems are deemed as the potential alternatives to current fossil fuel based generating systems in mining industry in the NT. The finding is based on consideration of the major factors in determining the feasibility of CSP system installation, with particular reference to the NT mine sites. These are plant design requirements, climatic, environmental, and other requirements, and capital and operating costs. Based on these factors, four mine sites have been identified as having the potential for CSP plants installation. These are McArthur River Mine, Ranger Mine, Northern Territory Gold Mines, and Tanami Operations. Each site could be served by one CSP plant to cater for the needs of mining operation and the local communities.