• 15 MW Essakane Solar power project was commissioned in Burkina Faso
  • It will be attached to a 55 MW heavy fuel oil (HFO) power plant developed by Finland based Wärtsila
  • Off grid gold mining company IAMGOLD’s gold mine near Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso will procure solar power from this facility for its operations
  • The PV system will help IAMGOLD reduce its fuel consumption by around 6 million litres annually

A 15 MW solar PV plant has come online in Burkina Faso. The Essakane Solar project will be added to the existing 55 MW heavy fuel oil (HFO) power plant and will power IAMGOLD Essakane SA with clean energy.

One of the largest privately held companies in the country, gold mining firm IAMGOLD Corporation signed a PPA with Essakane Solar SAS, Eren Renewable Energy SA and Aren Energy (PTY) Ltd., a year back (see 15 MW PV Plant In Burkina Faso). Aren Energy is a JV between Eren and South African developer INCA Energy.

Construction of the plant was carried out by Wärtsila from Finland using around 130,000 PV panels. The PV system is based next to the 55 MW HFO plant developed by the Finnish energy solutions company (see Wärtsila 15 MW PV To Power Mine In Burkina Faso).

The goldmine relies on off-grid power from the HFO plant owing to its remote location. Now, the 15 MW project is expected to help it reduce its fuel consumption by approximately 6 million litres annually. Essakane Solar has also engaged procedures to register carbon credits generated by the project at the United Nations program.

The plant was inaugurated by Burkina Faso’s President Roch Marc Christian Kabore. Eren claims the project is the largest hybrid PV-HFO plant in the world and one of the largest solar facilities in sub-Saharan Africa.