Galaxy Resources has placed an order with Swan Energy to install 15 large solar panels and two wind turbines generating a total 214 MWh/y of clean green energy at its lithium operation in Ravensthorpe. The company will be the first mine site in Australia to install the state-of-the-art solar generation tracking technology which will supplement its diesel power generation. Managing Director, Iggy Tan: “Our renewable energy installation will remove about 190 t/y of CO2 emissions from the mine site which is the equivalent of planting 19 ha of forest every year.“The capital cost of the installation has already been factored in to the Mt Cattlin A$79 million construction budget and provides an attractive payback”. The tracking features will improve photovoltaic (PV) conversion efficiency by more than 40% over conventional fixed solar panels.Tan said that effective energy storage is the key to unlocking the potential benefits of renewable energy. Renewable energy generation from wind, solar and wave is by nature, variable and often inconsistent. When coupled with energy storage systems such as large banks of lithium ion batteries, there is a competitive energy source.“Electric vehicles are now moving from a concept to a reality with many car manufacturers planning hybrid or electric models in the coming years. The only reason this is happening is the development of technology associated with lithium batteries,” he said.Galaxy is on track to commission its lithium mine in Ravensthorpe by the third quarter of this year and produce lithium carbonate at its wholly owned Chinese plant by the end of the year.