Solar
Senegal celebrates the commissioning and grid connection of the 20MW Senergy 2 solar PV power plant, which is a milestone ahead of COP22 next month.

An investment company specialising in renewable energy in sub-Saharan Africa, GreenWish Partners, has over the past weekend successfully synchronised “the first PV power plant of industrial size in West Africa, in Bokhol, Senegal.”

A company statement noted that the power generated, which is anticipated to provide electricity to 160,000 people, will be managed by the country's national electricity company, Senelec.

[quote]The plant consists of 77,000 solar panels that represent a cumulative length of 20 kilometres.

GreenWish Partners’ CEO, Charlotte Aubin-Kalaidjian, commented: "Solar power will accelerate electrification of the continent in a sustainable, responsible and competitive manner.

"We chose Senegal, not only because the country has an exceptional sunshine rate, but also for the leadership’s involvement in implementing the project."

Energy mix programme

Aubin-Kalaidjian continued: “A few weeks before the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Climate Change Conferences in Marrakech, Senergy 2 is proof that Africa can meet the challenge of sustainable electrification.”

Senegal’s President Macky Sall also commented on the development, noting that “growth and development cannot be achieved without energy".

"It is the reason why we are implementing the energy mix programme that aims at strengthening Senelec’s production capacities," he said.

The President further stated that the Bokhol power plant is a significant milestone.

“Senegal enters in the era of clean energy in order to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases,” Sall emphasised.

Senergy 2 is estimated to help avoid the emission of 23,000 tons of CO2 per year.

GreenWish enters energy market

Built in partnership with French construction group Vinci, the project is owned by Greenwish Africa REN.

UK ambassador to Senegal George Hodgson, who was also present at the inauguration ceremony, said: “The solar power plant has been made possible thanks to innovative public-private financing.

“With substantial funding from the United Kingdom and Norway, the project is now becoming a reality and demonstrates the willingness of Britain to invest more in the development of Senegal.”

GreenWish will sell the power generated from Senergy 2 at 40% per kilowatt hour (kWh), which is said to be lower than the Senegalese energy mix and thus does not require subsidies.

Senergy 2 is anticipated to generate €4.5 million ($4.8 million) in annual savings for the state of Senegal, or €88 million ($95 million) over the 20 years of the power purchase contract with Senelec.