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Millennial Lithium’s project center in Argentina goes solar

Solar panels at the Pastos Grandes Salar lithium brine project in Argentina. Photo by Millennial Lithium.

Millennial Lithium (TSXV: ML) announced that its Pastos Grandes Salar lithium brine project in Argentina is now home to a solar-powered permanent project center, which includes a 60-100 person camp with dorms and other facilities, an on-site laboratory, and a process pilot plant under construction.

In a media statement, the Vancouver-based miner highlighted that a state-of-the-art hybrid solar power system is in charge of providing electricity to the center while reducing CO2 emissions by 147 tonnes annually and the costs for fuel by $250,000 per year.

“We at Millennial are excited to be on the leading edge of the green revolution in commissioning our renewables-powered project development park,” the company’s president and CEO, Farhad Abasov, said in the press brief. “This follows through on our personal commitment to the environment while preserving shareholder value, and our goal of producing lithium products with a low CO2 footprint.”

Pastos Grandes Salar lithium brine project in Argentina. Photo by Millennial Lithium.

According to Abasov, the hybrid solar power system for the project center is the first of its type in the Puna region of northern Argentina and, on top of being environmentally friendly, it will help the company quantify and maximize the benefit of renewable energy saturation in its commercial operations engineering and commissioning.

The executive said that Puna has one of the highest levels of solar loading in the world. Thus, Millennial solicited proposals for renewable energy systems from local firms chose Ergy Solar to install and commission an integrated solar photovoltaic, battery and backup conventional power generation system. The system utilizes 540 (1,050 square meters) photovoltaic panels of 330 Wp each totaling 178.2 KWp of solar power, a 500 kwh maximum storage bank of batteries and two low-emission diesel generators.

Abasov also said that the hybrid solar system is managed by a “smart” central controller that constantly reads, loads and optimizes power output to the project center and the batteries to take advantage of the high levels of solar resources in the region. The PV panel and battery system can provide power at maximum capacity for more than 18 hours throughout the daily 24-hour cycle, with diesel generator back-up only for some peak energy consumption times and infrequent non-sun events.

Millennial’s press release states that within the project center there is an on-site lab with an Agilent Technologies model 5110 2-axis ICP-OES analyzer that is expected to provide quick turnaround of analyses for the ongoing pilot ponds system and a pilot plant that should have a 3 tonne per month output of battery quality lithium carbonate.