Ivory Coast moves forward with first solar park

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The Ivory Coast government has announced a new decree which approves a 25 MW solar power project under development in the country by Morocco-based Nova Power, through its local unit Korhogo Solaire.

The move, the government said in a press release, is part of a strategy for developing the potential of solar energy and reducing the dependence of electricity production on fossil fuels.

According to a document previously issued by the Ivorian government, the project – originally scheduled for completion by the end of this year – is expected to require an investment of XOF23 billion ($40.9 million).

The plant will sell power to local utility Compagnie Ivoirienne d’Electricité (CIE). In the EoI for the project issued last year, the Ministry of Energy said the maximum price at which the facility had to deliver power was XOF70/kWh.

Under its energy strategy Ivory Coast is targeting 150 MW of solar by 2020 and another large-scale project under development is a 50 MW plant Chinese-Canadian manufacturer Canadian Solar hopes to build in the region of Poro under the Build Own Operate (BOO) business model.

The installed power generation capacity of the African nation stands at around 1.7 GW, although Ivory Coast exports power to neighboring Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone and only 26% of its population has access to electricity.