British oil provider Vivo Energy will supply with solar power the Nampala gold mine owned and operated by Canada-based mining company Robex Resources in Mali under a power purchase agreement.
Robex Resources said that a 3.9 MW/2.6 MWh solar-plus-storage plant, which Vivo Energy is building at the mining site, will provide power for a period of 5-15 years. “This facility is expected to reduce the cost of the kilowatts currently consumed by the mine operations by $0.04,” the company said, adding that it will be linked to the mine's existing thermal power plant.
“This project with Robex is Vivo Energy’s first contract with one of our commercial customers to supply fuel, combined with a hybrid solar energy solution,” said Vivo Energy CEO, Christian Chammas.
This is the second solar-plus-storage project under development at a Malian mine. In December, Finnish marine and energy solutions provider Wärtsilä has agreed to supply Canadian gold miner B2Gold with a 17MW/15MWh energy storage system. The large scale battery will be paired with a 30 MW solar power plant that the mining company is building at the Fekola gold mine in Mali.
Mali's solar energy roadmap also includes plans to build large scale PV projects. The installations include a 50 MW solar plant in Sikasso by PowerPro, a 50 MW project by Akuo Kita Solar, a 33 MW PV array by Norway’s Scatec Solar, and a 25 MW facility to be built in Koutiala by Access Power, Eren and Africa Invest.
The government of Mali aims to ramp up the country's share of renewable energy in the national electricity mix to 25% by 2033, in addition to a 61% rural electrification target.
According to the latest statistics published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Mali only had 20 MW of cumulative installed solar capacity by the end of 2019.
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