JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Gold producer B2Gold has appointed Caterpillar and Cat dealer Barloworld to supply a 7 MW solar power plant at the Otjikoto mine, in Namibia.
The full system, including Cat photovoltaic (PV) solar modules and the Cat microgrid master controller (MMC), will be used to reduce reliance on a heavy fuel oil power plant currently used to power the mining facility.
Barloworld is supplying engineering, procurement and construction services for the project. Installation of the system is under way, with the completion of the project expected in early 2018.
“As one of the largest solar installations in Namibia, the facility at the Otjikoto mine will help us to leverage a plentiful, renewable resource, while improving the quality of life for nearby communities,” B2Gold Namibia MD and country manager Mark Dawe said in a statement.
Caterpillar’s solar PV system is powered by advanced thin-film solar modules that have improved performance over conventional silicon solar panels.
The system offers reliable and predictable energy in all climates and applications with modules that are independently tested to pass accelerated life and stress tests beyond industry standards.
Caterpillar’s solar PV offering is a key component of the Cat Microgrid technology suite, an innovative line-up of power systems that adds environment-friendly solar panels, energy storage and advanced monitoring and control systems to Caterpillar’s traditional line of reliable power generation equipment, including heavy fuel oil, natural gas and diesel generator sets, switchgear and automatic transfer switches.
The Cat Microgrid technology suite is designed to reduce fuel expenses, lower utility bills, decrease emissions, and reduce the total cost of ownership while increasing energy efficiency in challenging environments.
The Cat MMC keeps loads continuously energised with high-quality power at the lowest cost.
It manages the flow of power from every source in the system, including the main grid when connected.
The MMC also uses Cat Connect technology for real-time collection and communication of on-site performance data that can be monitored and analysed remotely.