Senegal’s Senergy solar power plant will be the largest in West Africa

Proparco, the subsidiary of the French Development Agency has partnered with Meridiam, a global investor and asset manager, French manufacturer Solairedirect (Engie) and Schneider Electric in the construction and operation of a 30MW Senergy photovoltaic solar power plant in Senegal.

Since early 2015, the Senergy solar project has been developed by the investment company Meridiam, in partnership with the French manufacturer Solairedirect, as well as with the project’s initial shareholders, the Senegal Strategic Sovereign Investment Fund (FONSIS) and Senergy SUARL, a Senegalese company which develops energy projects.

Under this project, Solairedirect will be responsible for building the power plant and Schneider Electric will supply the inverters and transformers. Proparco is the project’s main funder and the only debt lender.

Proparco allocated a EUR 34.5m loan with an 18-year maturity to finance the construction and operation of Senegal’s Senergy photovoltaic solar power plant.

The investment project also provides for the construction of grid connection infrastructure for the public purchaser SENELEC, Senegal’s national utility company– with which a 25-year power purchase agreement has been signed. Its total cost is estimated at FCFA 28bn (EUR 43.2m).

Senergy, the largest solar power plant  in West Africa

With a nominal capacity of 30 MWc, the Senergy solar power plant will be the largest in West Africa. It will be located near Méouane, in the Thiès region in northwest Dakar. Its commissioning is scheduled for early 2017.

The new power plant will supply electricity equivalent to the annual consumption of 226,500 inhabitants at a more competitive price than the country’s thermal power plants.

Today, only 33% of the population of Senegal has access to electricity. The power sector remains modest in size with 650 MW of installed capacity. In addition to the low generation capacity, there are the problems of the frequent and regular power outages which affect the country’s populations and economy, and an extremely high electricity cost for users.
The commissioning of the new Senergy power plant will contribute to achieving the Government’s Emerging Senegal Plan, which provides for a significant strengthening of power generation capacity.

The project will also initiate the momentum towards diversifying Senegal’s energy mix. It is currently largely based on fossil fuels, which account for 90% of the mix. In addition, it will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 34,000 teq C02, and will thereby contribute to the implementation of the commitments made by Senegal at COP21.

Source: Press Release by Proparco. Video Credit: Africanews.