14 April 2021

Largest off-grid solar-battery system for mining industry

German-based renewable energy companies Suntrace GmbH and BayWa r.e. claims they have completed the commissioning of the world’s largest off-grid solar-battery hybrid system for the mining industry, at the Fekola gold mine in Mali, West Africa.

Off-grid solar-battery hybrid system at the Fekola gold mine in Mali, West Africa © B2Gold

According to BayWa r.e., the integration of the solar power plant with the battery system will ensure safe and reliable power, saving 13.1mln litres of heavy fuel oil a year, and will help to reduce CO2 emissions by 39,000t per year. 

Working with Canadian mining company B2Gold Corp, the companies state that the solar-battery hybrid plant was integrated and commissioned successfully with the existing power plant operation, and the solar plant is on course to be 100% complete by the end of June.

The Fekola gold mine operates 24-hours a day. During the daytime, the new 30MW solar plant allows three out of six heavy fuel oil generators to be shut down – the energy production of the residual three generators could also be significantly reduced.

The 15.4MWh battery storage compensates energy generation fluctuations and assures a reliable operation, which allows up to 75% of the electricity demand of the gold mine to be covered by renewable energy during the daytime.