Akuo Energy secures financing for Mali’s second solar park

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The West African Development Bank (BOAD) has agreed to finance a 50 MW solar power project in Mali along with the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), which is managed by Investec Asset Management, Green Africa Power (GAP), GuarantCo, and Mali-based Banque Nationale de Développement Agricole du Mali (BNDA).

The €77 million project will be built under a Build-Own-Operate and Transfer (BOOT) contract by local developer, Akuo Kita Solar SA, a unit of French independent power producer, Akuo Energy.

The solar plant will be Mali’s first IPP solar project. Akuo Energy secured the 28-year PPA for the project from Mali’s power utility, Energie du Mali-SA in October 2015. Akuo claims that the project will meet the vital energy needs of a region suffering from significant electricity shortages.

The Kita project is Mali’s second solar park under development. Another 33 MW project, the Segou Solar PV Plant, is planned for Segou, approximately 240 km north-east of Bamako, Mali’s capital city. The project’s developer is Segou Solaire SA, a subsidiary of Norwegian solar developer, Scatec Solar.

The government of Mali aims to increase the share of renewable energy in the national electricity mix to 25%, alongside a target for rural electrification of 61% by 2033.

A report published by the African Development Bank in 2015 points out that Mali has the capacity to be one of the world’s largest solar-producing nations, with its seven to 10 hours of sunlight per day year-round.