French energy project developer Vinci Energies, a unit of France-based industrial group Vinci, has been awarded a €26.8 million contract to build ten PV plants totaling 17 MW by Senegal’s state-owned power utility Société d’Electricité du Sénégal.
The projects, which are being financed by the German development bank KFW and Senelec, are planned to come online in July 2018. The plants will be spread across the regions of Saloum, Thiès, Tambakounda and Kolda. Thiés will host the largest and the only grid-connected facility, which will have a capacity of 15 MW, while the remaining seven off-grid installations will serve remote areas with difficult access to electricity. These projects will be combined with other power generation sources and storage, and will have a total power of 2 MW.
“We are proud to help Senegal achieve its energy transition goals. Thanks to our teams present on site, we have been able to mobilize the resources and skills needed to carry out this project, which will be implemented in the record time of ten months,” said Vinci Energies’ CEO Yves Meigné.
Vinci Energies has already built a 20 MW solar plant in Senegal. The solar PV farm is located in Bokhol, near the Mauritanian border. Construction of the 20 MW Senergy II project started in February 2016 and concluded a year later. The project was developed by global private equity firm Denham Capital and African renewable energy investment company GreenWish.
Furthermore, the company is also installing a 21 MW PV facility in Kahone, in the Kaolack region.
Senegal was the second African country to join the International Finance Corporation’s Scaling Solar program in January 2016. At the time, the country’s government set an installation goal of 200 MW of PV within the next few years. Under this initiative, the IFC is organizing competitive reverse auctions for solar, as well as providing financing and guarantees for investors in order to reduce funding risks.