TotalEnergies, Gecol to build 500 MW of solar in Libya


General Electricity Company of Libya (Gecol), a state-owned utility, plans to build a 500 MW solar park in the Sadada region, 280 kilometers southeast of Tripoli, in partnership with French energy giant TotalEnergies.

“This project is part of the framework agreement we signed with Libya's Renewable Energy Agency to implement a strategic plan to integrate more installed capacity from renewable energy sources into the country's grid,” Gecol said, without providing any additional financial or technical details.

The utility currently operates around 9 GW of generation assets, including 16 gas and oil plants. Renewable energy sources only accounts for about 2% of its total power supply. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, Libya only has 6 MW of installed PV capacity.

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In its strategic plan for renewables for the 2013-25 period, the Libyan government has set targets for 300 MW of PV by 2020 and 450 MW by 2025. It has also set targets to build 150 MW of concentrated solar power by 2020 and 800 MW by 2025.

Libya has a daily average of solar radiation level of around 7.1 kWh/m2/day on a horizontal plane, with more than 3,500 hours of sun per year. A recent study by the US Department of Energy’s Berkeley Lab, “Strategic siting and regional grid interconnections key to low-carbon futures in African countries,” showed that Libya and other African countries should be prioritized for solar projects, as they are home to a high number of potentially cost-effective sites.

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