Finnish power engineering firm Wartsila has completed the world’s largest solar hybrid power plant in the West African country, Burkina Faso.
For the plant, the company will also be responsible for delivering a sustainable supply of energy, used for operating the off-grid gold mine.
The construction contract for the 15MWp solar PV plant was awarded by the global renewable energy independent power producer Total Eren and African Energy Management Platform (AEMP).
The plant is expected to generate and deliver energy to Iamgold Essakane at its gold mine in north-eastern Burkina Faso.
Total Eren Executive Business Development global head and vice-president Fabienne Demol said: “This project demonstrates the benefits of integrating renewable energy in the mining industry.
“We are looking to replicate this type of hybridisation, especially in Africa where mines cannot always rely on the national grid.
“Renewable energy coupled with either storage or thermal-based power generation represents a truly viable option for industrial consumers since it enables for competitive, reliable and clean power supply.”
The new 15MWp solar PV plant has been hybridised with an existing 57MW diesel plant to enhance the original power generator.
The plant is expected to drop fuel consumption by approximately 6 million litres, and lower CO2 emissions by 18,500t.
During the construction phase, the project has created more than 200 jobs, and, during the operation phase, it is expected to create 75 permanent jobs.
Wärtsilä Energy Solutions president Javier Cavada said: “This project underscores our commitment to sustainability and innovation.
“Our new hybrid energy solutions will allow our customers to seamlessly integrate more renewable energy into their grids.
“Our EPC delivery capabilities enabled us to successfully deliver this project even in such a remote and challenging location.”