Finnish company Wärtsilä has announced plans to supply a 15 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant to Burkina Faso to create a hybrid engine-solar power plant.

The solar PV plant will be built adjacent to a 55 MW Wärtsilä power plant currently running on heavy fuel oil. The PV plant and engine plant will be controlled and operated in synchronization, creating the largest engine-solar PV hybrid in Africa.

Wärtsilä’s scope covers the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) for the solar PV power plant, including the control system for the hybrid plant. The power plant is scheduled to be operational in late 2017.

Essakane Solar SAS, a joint venture between global independent power producer EREN Renewable Energy (EREN) and African Energy Management Platform (AEMP), will operate the plant and sell the energy to IAMGOLD’s Essakane mine.

The ability to control and optimize the use of engines and solar power will enable the mine to decrease its fuel consumption by approximately 6 million litres per year and to reduce its annual CO2 emissions by 18,500 tons, Wärtsilä said.