7 March 2013 – Conergy AG is installing a solar energy system at a water desalination plant in Tunisia. The installation will become the second largest photovoltaic solar project in the country with a capacity of 210 kW, with grid connection due for March 2013.

The power plant will provide electricity for a groundwater desalination plant in the arid desert region in Ben Guardane in Medenine province in the southeast of the country. The water plant supplies the local population with 1.8 million litres of drinking water a day.

It will not benefit from any feed-in tariff, but will rely on own consumption. “The Middle East and North Africa, the so-called MENA states, are predestined for solar power thanks to the prevailing extremely high insolation values,” Conergy board member Alexander Gorski, says. “According to experts, there is a potential of about 7.0 GW by 2020 and 37 GW by 2030 for the entire MENA region. The main drivers of this expected growth are Saudi Arabia and Turkey. In many other countries, however, we are only at the beginning, as is the case in Tunisia. Solar has not played a large role there to date. But the Tunisian government is planning to expand renewable energies in the coming years and is making corresponding investments. Experts are therefore expecting a market potential of around 200 MW there by 2020.”
 
The 4,000 square metre solar facility for the desalination plant is a non-refundable donation to Tunisia from the Japanese government. Conergy secured the order during a tender process won by the Japanese company and general contractor Takaoka Engineering. Acting as sub-contractor, Conergy has taken on responsibility for the planning and engineering of the plant as well as for the supply of the components and the construction of the park, for which the system supplier is collaborating with its local partner Bonna.