The US government’s development finance institution, OPIC, has signed a financing agreement with Lekela Power for the development of a wind farm in Senegal.The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) revealed last week during the US – African Business Forum held in New York City that it has engaged into a pact with Lekela Power for the development, construction and operation of a 158MW wind farm in Taiba N’Diaye, Senegal.
OPIC, through a media release stated that it has committed $250 million in financing and $70 million in reinsurance to Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye, a Senegalese company.
Lekela Power is a pan-African renewable energy generation platform delivering utility scale wind and solar power into commercial operation in Africa.
OPIC support clean energy development
“This is a transformative project for many reasons, principally for the new and clean energy it will supply to Senegal,” OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth L. Littlefield, stated.
Littlefield added: “OPIC partnering with Lekela illustrates the opportunity for renewable resources to make a significant contribution to total energy needs.
“OPIC is proud to support the Taiba wind project and its role in advancing Senegal’s economic prosperity.”
Lekela’s CEO Chris Antonopoulos also commented on the development, “Energy is critical to the African continent and its continued growth.”
“Lekela is uniquely positioned as a long term investor to provide clean, secure, reliable and competitive renewable energy in Senegal and across Africa,” Antonopoulos added.
The project is expected to increase Senegal’s available installed power capacity by 24%, the financial provider stated.
Project to boost economic growth
According to OPIC, Senegal suffers from chronic deficit in electricity supply with regular power rationing and blackouts that adversely affect living conditions and economic development.
OPIC aslo highlighted that the cost of electricity in Senegal is high because nearly 90% of the electricity is currently generated using costly oil-based fossil fuel.
This project is a critical component of Senegal’s power generation and sustainable energy growth plan, and supports the goals of the US government’s Power Africa initiative, company statement concluded.