Veteran solar analyst Paula Mints has a saying that it is a long way from power points to power plants. This is particularly true of Africa. Besides a successful program in South Africa, a large number of the projects announced go years without progress.
In light of this, EIB’s announcement that it will loan 23 million to a PV project to be operated by Burkina Faso’s state utility SONABEL is groundbreaking. Mercom Capital notes that despite many project announcements, this is one of only five PV project funding announcements in the last eighteen months in the African continent outside of South Africa.
At 30 MW, both the project and the size of the loan are larger than any of the other four. In fact, this will be the largest PV project in the thousands of kilometers between a group of PV projects which China’s Powerway is currently building in Algeria and South Africa.
In addition to the 20-year loan from the EIB, the project has received an 25 million grant from the European Union, and is set to receive financing from the French Development Agency. The total cost of the project on the outskirts of the Burkina Faso’s capital of Ouagadougou is estimated at 70.5 million.