Industrial operations represent a significant segment of power business for utilities, both across the country and worldwide. It can take hundreds of megawatts to support elaborate and expensive processes, and mining operations are no different. In an increasingly competitive market, access to reliable and affordable power can greatly contribute to a facility’s profitability or even viability.

Accessing Uninterrupted Power

It can be expensive to maintain the 24/7 operational demands of mining operations, but more than that, it can be detrimentally expensive to deal with power outages. While not every mining process requires a dramatic load, power disruptions can cause serious maintenance headaches and cost impacts to a facility — potentially costing upward of millions of dollars a day for complex processes.

On-site power generation — whether through reciprocating engines, open-cycle plants, renewables plus battery storage, a combined-cycle plant or more — provides access to continuous power. If a disruption occurs, the on-site system can seamlessly bridge that gap until the main source of power is restored.

Dropping Overhead Costs

Power and water represent 30% of all capital expenditures for mining operations. A decrease in the price of the power used can create a corresponding increase in a mine’s profitability. In collaboration with its utility and engineering partners, a mining facility can determine the right type of on-site generation to meet its needs — and operate it effectively to decrease the power costs of its processes.

As the cost and efficiency benefits of on-site power climb, more mining companies can control their own destiny with a robust and dynamic self-generated solution to maintain constant production requirements.


Mining operations can overcome pricing and reliability risk with on-site generation.


Jonathan Grantham, PE, SE, is a business development manager at Burns & McDonnell. His experience in fostering new markets in the industrial, commercial and power industries allows him to help clients identify and develop effective solutions.