Canadian gold-mining company B2Gold is to install one of the world’s largest off grid solar battery hybrid systems at the Fekola gold mine in Mali, West Africa.
B2Gold Corp. approved the $US38 million ($A56.2 million) project which will begin construction later this year, and which is set for completion in August 2020.
The Fekola Solar Project will consist of a 30MW solar plant with 13.5MWh battery storage and will be integrated with the existing power plant which powers the gold mine, in an effort to provide safe and reliable operation of the hybrid project and avoid 13.1 million litres heavy fuel oil per year.
The project was analysed by German solar power consulting firm Suntrace and German building material company BayWa, who will provide detailed engineering, procurement support and support during construction and commissioning.
“This project is a landmark in terms of battery and PV plant size with respect to an off-grid project, “said Martin Schlecht, COO of Suntrace.
“We are very proud that B2Gold has entrusted Suntrace/BayWa r.e. as expert to support the implementation of this innovative project.”
Philipp Kunze, head of BayWa r.e. Solar Projects’s Global Hybrid team said the fuel savings will enable repayment on the investment as well as lower energy costs and cut carbon emissions.