EREN Renewable Energy (EREN RE) and its partner African Energy Management Platform (AEMP) signed a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with IAMGOLD Essakane SA gold mine to complement its existing heavy fuel power plant in Burkina Faso with a 15 MWp solar farm. This project representing an investment of more than $20 million will enable the mine to significantly reduce its fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
The mine is currently off-grid and relies solely on costly and carbon intensive diesel power.
In this context, IAMGOLD Essakane SA has put forward a progressive sustainability agenda and engaged in discussions with the project sponsor EREN RE and AEMP to add solar capacity to its existing power system. The 15 MWp solar project, expected to be commissioned by the end of 2017, will help decrease the mine’s fuel consumption by approximately 6 million liters per year and reduce by nearly 18,500 tons its annual CO2 emissions.
For large industries such as mining companies, which operate 24/7 and whose energy budgets represent up to 30% of their operating costs, the hybridization of diesel power plants with a renewable energy source reduces energy costs, improves both the carbon and social footprint, and hedges against oil price volatility.