Two PV plants are commissoned in Senegal in the »Scaling Solar« frame
Post date: 02/06/2021 - 09:52
Two PV plants with a total capacity of 60 MW were launched in Senegal, financed by the International Finance Corp (IFC), the European Investment Bank and Proparco, under the World Bank Group's »Scaling Solar« program. Locations are Kael and Kahone in Western Senegal. They will provide energy at tariffs of €0.0398 and €0.0380 ($0.0486 and $0.0484) per kilowatt hour, respectively, »one of the lowest prices for electricity in Sub-Saharan Africa.«
The two plants are sponsored by Engie, Meridiam, and the Senegalese Sovereign Wealth Fund for Strategic Investments (FONSIS). The competitive tendering was led by Senegal's Energy Regulatory Commission (CRSE).
Although the proportion of Senegalese people with access to electricity has increased sharply over the past 30 years, nearly a quarter of the population still lacks access, according to IFC . Senegal´s power sector has been »historically reliant on costly fuel imports,« with about 80 percent of its energy mix being oil-based. »These two projects are expected to provide the equivalent of 540,000 people with cheap, renewable electricity. This is a record in sub-Saharan Africa, which will support more than 400 direct and indirect local jobs,« said Mathieu Peller, COO of Méridiam Afrique.
The financing package of the plants includes senior loans worth €38 million from IFC, the Finland-IFC Blended Finance for Climate Program, the European Investment Bank, and French development finance institution Proparco. The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), a member of the World Bank Group, issued €6.9 million in guarantees to support the plants, providing protection against non-commercial risks for a duration of up to 15 years.
The Kahone and Kael projects were implemented in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)'s Power Africa, the Government of the Netherlands, The Rockefeller Foundation, and The Infrastructure Development Collaboration Partnership Fund (DevCo). »The close cooperation between the European Investment Bank, African and international partners through Scaling Solar is unlocking investment to harness solar energy in Senegal and provides a model for accelerating green transition in Africa,« said Ambroise Fayolle, European Investment Bank Vice President.
Scaling Solar is a World Bank Group program that makes it easier for governments to quickly procure and develop large solar projects with private financing. Senegal is the second country to bring Scaling Solar-backed PV projects to the operational stage. In March 2019, the first solar plant financed and tendered under the Scaling Solar program was inaugurated in Zambia. Projects in Afghanistan, Côte d'Ivoire, Madagascar, Togo, and Uzbekistan are currently at various stages of development.