Ivory Coast set to commission first solar plant


The director of CIE, Ivory Coast’s state-owned utility, said last week that the country is set to inaugurate its first solar plant, but he did not provide details about the launch date. The 37.5 MW installation in Boundiali, in the northern part of the West African country, will sell electricity to CIE.

“After having experimented with fossil fuels and hydroelectricity, [Ivory Coast], which is rich in renewable energy potential, is about to commission its first solar power plant, marking its intention to vary its energy mix as much as possible,” said Noumory Sidibé, the director general of CIE

Germany's Development Bank KfW financed the €40 million project with €27 million through the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The European Union added €9.7 million, and the government of Ivory Coast contributed the remaining sum.

In May, Saft – a subsidiary of France's TotalEnergies – was selected to build a 10 MW storage system to the solar project. It will install six of its Intensium Max High Energy containers, equipped with lithium-ion batteries. The energy storage system will provide capacity firming and PV smoothing services to the solar project, according to Saft.

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The Boundiali project is part of the “Compact with Africa” program, an initiative that was launched in March 2017 by the Group of 20 leading economies countries under the German presidency. The program seeks to promote private investment in renewable energy development in Africa.

In May 2018, the Ivory Coast government said that a 25 MW solar project in the town of Benguébougou would be the country’s first solar plant. However, the Boundiali project, which was announced in October 2018, has reached the commissioning phase first.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Ivory Coast had 13 MW of cumulative solar capacity in 2021.

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