The president of Senegal, Macky Sall has officially inaugurated a 30 MW solar park built by French solar developer Solairedirect, a unit of France’s energy giant Engie, in Merina Dakhar, which is located 120 km north-east of Dakar, the country’s capital city.
The project was financed by French investment firm Meridiam and by Proparco, a development financial institution partly owned by the French Development Agency (AFD) and private shareholders, which promotes investments in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.
The €43 million facility will sell power to local electric utility, Senegal National Electricity Company (SENELEC) under a long-term PPA.
Meridiam and Proparco have already commissioned a 30 MW solar park in Senegal, the Senergy solar power plant in Santhiou Mékhé near Méouane, in the Thiès region in northwest Dakar. This twin project was also developed by Solairedirect.
Currently, there are more solar projects under development in Senegal. GreenWish is constructing a 20 MW solar farm in Bokhol, Senegal, near the Mauritanian border. Furthermore, the Senegalese government has recently launched a tender for 100 MW of solar projects with a combined storage capacity of 100 MW in the Diourbel, Kaoack, and Fatick regions of the country.
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 installment goal of 200 MW of PV within the next few years. The country has currently around only 650 MW installed generation capacity, and is constantly plagued by energy shortages.