Energy Storage in Mali

B2Gold + Wärtsilä

Renewables plus energy storage become cost-competitive at an off-grid mine in Mali

B2Gold, a Canadian public gold-mining company, operates a large gold mine in southwest Mali, Africa.

Seeking a clean energy solution to improve energy generation and energy security at the off-grid mine, including integration of existing energy assets (solar and engines), B2Gold chose a hybrid solution to reduce their fuel-dependence, cut carbon emissions and optimise mining operations at the Fekola Mine.

WHOB2GOLD
WHAT15.4MWh ENERGY STORAGE AND GEMS SOFTWARE
WHEREMALI
HOWEEQ WITH INSTALLATION SUPERVISION

 

This is what we achieved

17.3MW

Optimised Energy Storage using GEMS Energy Management Software

3900 Tonnes

Reduction in Carbon Emissions per year

GEMS is basically the quarter-back of the team

- Dennis Stansbury, Senior Vice-President of B2Gold

How we did it

Challenge icon

Challenge

  • Optimise energy production at a fuel-dependent, energy-intensive operational mining facility in southwest Africa
  • Ensure grid stability and provide energy security to a remote mine where energy from the local grid is unavailable and/or unreliable
  • Integrate and optimise multiple renewable assets under a single portfolio
Solution icon

Solution

  • Complete asset optimisation via GEMS automated and forecasted data to enable energy production security and efficiency
  • An integrated hybrid energy solution, incorporating an energy storage system, an existing solar array, an existing power generator, and industry-leading energy management controls
  • Sustainable clean energy addition to the mine
Benefit icon

Benefit

  • Reduced carbon emissions, fuel consumption and mining operational costs
  • Improved power reliability via storage energy generation capabilities
  • Short payback period ensuring the lowest LCOE

The main details


CustomerB2Gold
Site Size17.3 MW / 15.4 MWh
Site LocationMali, Africa
ApplicationMicrogrid control
Scope of ServicesEEQ with installation supervision
Delivery2020
Mali Map

Energy Transition Talks with Sushil Purohit

In this video, Sushil Purohit, President of Wärtsilä Energy, speaks to Dennis Stansbury, Senior Vice-President at B2Gold, about how their Fekola Gold Mine, in Mali, West Africa reduced their dependency on expensive fuel, lowered their carbon emissions and optimised their mining operations by using our energy storage and GEMS Digital Energy Platform.

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Related solutions and services

Related materials

Southern Africa: The Land of Renewables & Storage Opportunities (ATA Webinar)

Press releases

Wärtsilä to provide full energy storage solution for one of the largest power hybrid projects at an off-grid mine in Mali

Dec 2, 2019, 13:00 PM by Wärtsilä Corporation

The technology group Wärtsilä will optimise the energy system of the Fekola Mine, located in a remote region in southwest Mali. This is needed to improve the mine’s operations, reduce fuel consumption, and lessen the carbon emissions. Wärtsilä has been contracted to design and engineer a cutting-edge 17MW/15MWh energy storage system based on the company’s GEMS energy management solution. The order was placed by B2Gold, a Canadian based public gold-mining company. This project is the first hybrid-project between Wärtsilä and B2Gold and the order was booked with Wärtsilä in November 2019.

The Fekola Mine, which currently relies on conventional liquid fuels for its power, will benefit from Wärtsilä’s energy storage and hybrid energy system. The significant cost savings and improved power reliability it offers, were key considerations in the award of the contract.

Fekola is the first mine in the region to add energy storage and solar to their operations. Wärtsilä’s advanced GEMS technology will not only control the new energy storage system, but will also control a new 30MW solar plant currently under construction. In addition, GEMS will continuously optimise energy production for the entire mine. This will ensure the lowest Levelized Cost Of Electricity (LCOE) for the mine, while at the same time securing grid stability and maximizing uptime.

“We chose Wärtsilä because of their experience in the region, and because of their capabilities in designing and managing hybrid plants,” said Jan Clausen, Project Manager at B2Gold. “We wanted to optimise full electricity generation at the mine using solar and energy storage. A key part of this solution is Wärtsilä’s state-of-the-art GEMS technology; it was an easy decision.”

Hybrid systems with energy storage are ideal for providing energy stability and an overall improvement in operations for remote mining locations where the conditions are often challenging. The payback time on such investments is typically short, since the cost of supplying fuel to remote locations can be excessive. Wärtsilä has earlier completed similar projects in Africa, a gold mine in Burkina Faso being the company’s first of its kind.

“Hybrid solutions with renewable energy sourced power operations, are a realistic and effective means for increasing energy reliability and lowering operating costs for the mining sector,” commented Risto Paldanius, Business Development Director, Energy Storage & Optimisation at Wärtsilä Energy Business. “These remote locations are ideally suited for hybrid systems. Our extensive experience with microgrids in various climatic and geographical conditions will help the Fekola mine, and others of its kind, to achieve their environmental and cost saving goals.”

The hybrid system is created through a combination of renewables and an energy storage control system to form an environmentally sound and cost-efficient power source. GEMS, now in its sixth generation, will utilise artificial intelligence (AI), and automated decision-making based on real-time and forecasted data, including load demand and weather, to optimally operate the system’s assets and maximize efficiencies.

This latest in a string of orders that Wärtsilä has received from Africa will bring Wärtsilä’s total installed base on the continent to more than 7400 MW.

Read more about Wärtsilä energy storage solutions. 

Image caption: Energy storage system of Fekola mine in Mali will be optimised based on Wärtsilä’s GEMS solution to improve the mine’s operations, reduce fuel consumption, and lessen the carbon emissions. Wärtsilä has earlier completed similar projects in a gold mine in Burkina Faso.

For more information, please contact:

Christophe Demay
Senior Business Development Manager
Wärtsilä Energy Business
Mob. +
33 6 7889 2182
christophe.demay@wartsila.com

Mirja-Maija Santala
Manager, Marketing & Communications
Wärtsilä Energy Business
Mob: +358 400 793 827
mirja-maija.santala@wartsila.com 

 

Wärtsilä releases are available at https://www.wartsila.com/media/news-releases and at http://news.cision.com/wartsila-corporation where also the images can be downloaded.

Wärtsilä Energy Business in brief
Wärtsilä Energy Business is leading the transition towards a 100% renewable energy future. As an energy system integrator, we understand, design, build and serve optimal power systems for future generations. Wärtsilä’s solutions provide the needed flexibility to integrate renewables and secure power system reliability. Our offering comprises engine-based flexible power plants – including liquid gas systems – hybrid solar power plants, energy management systems and storage and integration solutions. We support our customers over the lifecycle of their installations with services that enable increased efficiency and guaranteed performance. Wärtsilä has 70 GW of installed power plant capacity in 177 countries around the world.
www.wartsila.com/energy


Wärtsilä in brief
Wärtsilä is a global leader in smart technologies and complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising sustainable innovation, total efficiency and data analytics, Wärtsilä maximises the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers. In 2018, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 5.2 billion with approximately 19,000 employees. The company has operations in over 200 locations in more than 80 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.
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