June 1 (Renewables Now) - EREN Renewable Energy (EREN RE) and its partner African Energy Management Platform (AEMP) have broken ground on their 15-MWp solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in Burkina Faso.
The ground-breaking ceremony was held on May 26 on the site of the Essakane gold mine. The construction process is expected to last about eight months.
The solar park, which will use nearly 130,000 PV panels, will be added to the existing 55-MW heavy fuel power plant to create the largest hybrid PV-diesel facility in the world, the parties said in a statement.
The two companies announced in early March that they had signed a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for the output of the said plant with the gold mine operator, namely IAMGOLD Essakane SA. The mine is located 330 km (205 miles) away from Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou and not being hooked to the grid it currently relies only on costly diesel power.
The project is seen to help reduce the mine’s fuel consumption by about 6 million litres (1.59 million gallons) a year. The scheme will be realised by a company owned 90% by EREN RE and 10% by AEMP.