Burkina Faso announces plan to build eight solar parks totaling 100 MW

Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Energy has revealed a plan to install eight additional solar parks with a combined capacity of 100 MW in the country.

These projects, the ministry said in an official statement published on its Facebook account, will be developed in seven different regions. Two projects with a capacity of 10 MW and 20 MW, respectively, will be developed in the Centre Region, the most populous and urbanized area of the country, while the remaining six projects will be built in the regions of Sahel (15 MW), Est (10 MW), Boucle du Mouhoun (15 MW), Hauts-Bassins (10 MW), Nord (10 MW), and Cascades (10 MW).

Each of these projects, which will require a surface of between 20 and 60 hectares, will be awarded a declaration of public utility. No more technical or financial details about the projects were provided, nor was it said under which regulatory framework they will be developed.

The solar facilities are expected to improve power supply in all related regions, the Energy Minister of Burkina Faso, Alpha Oumar Dissa said. The country, on the other hand, is resorting to solar and renewables to increase power generation.

Burkina Faso currently heavily relies on fossil fuels for the power supply it is able to cover with domestic power production, which accounts for approximately 80% of total demand. Around 80% of its population is still without connection to the electricity system, however.

The country currently has an operational PV capacity of 33 MW, which is represented by the Zagtouli Solar Power Station, whichwas commissioned in late November. Overall, Burkina Faso has a total power generation capacity of around 250 MW. The country covers around 20% of its demand with power imports from neighbours Ghana, Togo and Côte d’Ivoire.

Overall, Burkina Faso has an annual solar radiation of 19.8 MJ/ m2 per day, while direct sunshine totals over 3,000 hours per year.