MSc Thesis: Techno-economic Assessment of Using Alternative Energy Technologies at a Remote Mining Operation in the Yukon Territory, Canada

Brennan Cicierski successfully defends his master’s thesis


REYKJAVIK, January 25 - Master’s candidate of Sustainable Energy Engineering, Brennan Cicierski has successfully delivered his master’s thesis project on the techno-economic assessment of using alternative energy technologies at a remote mining operation in the Yukon Territory, Canada. Throughout his work, Brennan was supervised by María Sigríður Guðjónsdóttir and Einar Jón Ásbjörnsson from Reykjavik University, Erla Björk Þorgeirsdóttir from Orkustofnun , along with Ali Madiseh-Ghoreshi from the University of British Columbia .


The impetus behind Brennan’s project is the growing concern to reduce energy intensity an environmental impact of Canadian mining operations by substituting fossil fuel based power systems with lower carbon emitting sources. In his work, Brennan evaluated the feasibility of using natural gas, wind and solar energy in mining operations, using site specific renewable energy resource data, demand assumptions, current technology and cost estimations.

Taking into account the CAD$50/tonne carbon tax assumption, it was found that dual-fuel generators capable of mixing natural gas and diesel is the most economic option compared to diesel generators. Solar energy is not an optimal solution due to the Yukon Territory’s geographical location in the north and minimal solar radiation. Brennan concluded that although wind and solar energy were found not to be economically attractive options in this study, mining operations with access to such resources could make meaningful reductions in operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions by implementing hybrid renewable energy systems.

Congratulations Brennan on an excellent thesis!


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