Construction begins on 30 MW of solar in Burkina Faso

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From pv magazine France.

Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Energy has announced the start of construction of two solar power plants with a combined generation capacity of 30 MW.

The solar parks, with capacities of 20 MW and 10 MW, are planned for Koudougou, in Boulkiemdé province, and Kaya, in Sanmatenga, respectively.

The Burkinabe government will finance the XOF41 billion ($73.5 million) project cost with a World Bank loan under the nation’s Electricity Sector Support Project.

French energy company Engie will construct the parks and the transmission lines and substations will be installed by Engie subsidiary Ineo Energy and Systems plus five other companies: India’s Mohan Energy Corporation and Unitech Power Transmission, Chinese entities TBEA and Shandong Taïkai Power Engineering and the IMPSDI consortium formed by China’s Inner Mongolia Electric Power Survey & Design Institute and Kenyan engineer Kesec. “These companies have between 12 and 14 months to complete the work,” said Burkinabe minister of energy Bachir Ismaël Ouédraogo.

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The government also intends to strengthen three inter-urban links with electricity distribution stations. Société Nationale d’électricité du Burkina Faso (Sonabel) said an 83km, 225 kV transmission line will be built between the towns of Pâ and Diébougou. A second 225 kV line will link the towns of Ziniaré and Kaya, 60km apart, and a 90 kV, 60km line will link Wona to Dédougou.

The solar parks and new infrastructure will inject 48.86 GWh into the electricity network – around 2.5% of the nation’s demand – and help stabilize the grid, according to Sonabel, which opened a tender for four PV plants last month.

Burkina Faso had only 62 MW of solar generation capacity at the end of last year, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency, however large PV projects are taking shape in the West African state, such as the 30 MW plant that Axpo Group business Urbasolar began constructing near Pâ in February.

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