The UNDP has issued an expression of interest to select developers interested in building the two plants. The 7 MW project will be built near the town of Farafenni, on the Trans-Gambia Highway in the Gambia’s North Bank Division. This facility will be coupled with battery storage to balance PV supply and demand on the grid, the UNDP said.
The 3.5 MW project will not include storage and will be built at a site near Basse, a town on the south bank of the River Gambia, in the easternmost part of the country. Both projects will supply electricity to the national grid under 20-year PPAs with NAWEC, under a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) model, the UNDP said. Bids must be submitted by April 23.
The two projects are receiving support from the NAMA Facility, which was jointly established by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and the U.K. Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The planned installations do not seem to have anything to do with the 20 MW of solar capacity that the World Bank is supporting in the greater Banjul national capital region, in the western part of the country. These and other energy projects received financial backing from the European Investment Bank in March.
“Access to clean energy in the Gambia is set to be transformed under a new €142 million initiative to harness solar power and supply clean energy across the country, backed by the European Investment Bank, World Bank and European Union,” the EIB said at the time.
All of these solar schemes are intended to increase access to electricity in the country of 2 million people, which only has an installed generating capacity of 99 MW.