Solar Power for African Gold Mine

Reuniwatt Together With Its Partner Suntrace Developed A Hybrid Off-Grid Power Solution B2Gold’s Fekola Mine in Mali

Solar Power for African Gold Mine

Solar for mines: Reuniwatt was short-listed for the smarter E Award 2022 for its off-grid mine hybridization project. Here, solar & storage and weather forecasting was used to minimize fossil-fuel generator usage. (Source: Reuniwatt)

  • Reuniwatt and Suntrace implemented solar battery hybrid system that uses solar power and Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO)
  • The team has created an intelligent EMS and short term solar production forecasting based on IR sensors which ensure that solar power is used as much as possible
  • The solution avoids the need for HFO generators to be on standby mode while half of the generator can be turned off completely on sunny days.

Reuniwatt, a specialist in atmospheric sciences and solar irradiance estimation, was named a finalist for The Smarter E AWARD 2022. Together with its project partner Suntrace GmbH, the company was nominated in the “Outstanding Projects” category for its contribution to B2Gold’s Fekola Mine hybrid power plant in Mali.

The team executed off-grid mine hybridization using solar power and solar forecasting for the world’s largest solar battery hybrid system in use in the mining industry, which was installed at B2Gold’s Fekola mine in Mali.

Energy is a major expense for mining companies, accounting for roughly 30% of total operating costs. At the same time, one of the most frequently cited reasons for not considering renewables is reliability. Instead of being connected to the grid, the mine has its own microgrid. The team created a custom approach for Fekola Mine that relies on an intelligent EMS and short-term solar production forecasting based on IR sensors, which are used to carefully manage the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) generators and ensure that solar power is used as much as possible. Because of this monitoring, the HFO generators do not always need to be in standby mode. Instead, during extended periods of good weather, half of the generator capacity can be turned off completely.

The text is an excerpt from TaiyangNews report on New Solar Products Overview 9M/2022, which can be downloaded for free here.

About The Author

Shravan Chunduri

Shravan Chunduri is Head of Technology at TaiyangNews. Shravan caught the solar bug vey early in this career, starting 20 years ago in research, followed by solar manufacturing, then writing and consulting. His responsibility spans from writing technology articles and reports.

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