The Mauritian government’s energy agency, the Central Electricity Board (CEB), is inviting consultancy firms to submit their proposals for developing a feasibility study into the installation of a 30 MW floating solar PV array at the 60 ha Tamarind Falls Reservoir in the archipelago’s southwest.
CEB will evaluate whether the firm has completed previous feasibility studies for floating PV solar arrays and if it has designed hybrid solar or wind battery energy storage systems in the past.
The team leader – a degree-accredited registered electrical, mechatronics or electro-mechanical engineer – should also have at least 15 years’ experience and completed a feasibility study for a floating solar PV farm in the past 10 years. The application should also include a civil engineer and an environmental expert involved in completing a previous floating solar PV feasibility study.
The deadline for applications is October 16.
Tender documents claim the country’s hunger for floating PV plants originates from “a view of avoiding land usage” for this kind of energy generation, and that the CEB is “currently contemplating” setting up a 30—40 MW wind farm at Plaine Sophie with power outputs from the wind generator and floating PV farm within a collector substation.
The first floating solar PV project at the reservoir kicked off in 2019 when consultancy firm RINA Consulting was appointed to conduct a feasibility study into implementing a floating solar PV array at the site. After the study, the government approved the implementation of a pilot 2 MW project.
CEB went out with a call for additional applications for the second stage of the pilot project in November 2022 with six bids received. “However, after evaluation of bids, none of the bidders was found to be responsive,” the tender document stated. “Subsequently, the CEB decided to proceed with a rebid exercise for the pilot phase.” It is expected the 2 MW solar farm will be operational by August 2024.
According to the latest statistics from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Mauritius recorded 110 MW of installed capacity by the end of 2022. The nation did not install any new capacity last year, according to the agency.
In March 2022, the CEB of Mauritius issued two different tenders for the deployment of 140 MW of solar-plus-storage capacity. The government of Mauritius has also been supporting distributed solar through net metering and rebate schemes.
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