On Monday, global energy infrastructure investment company American Capital Energy & Infrastructure (ACEI) announced a commitment to invest in Senegal’s first industrial-scale wind power project, the largest wind farm planned for West Africa.
According to ACEI, the total capital cost of the wind farm is estimated at $343 million (ZAR 4 billion). ACEI is expecting to provide around $85 million (ZAR1 billion) and the remainder is expected to come from senior and mezzanine lenders.
Diversifying the energy mix
The wind farm will have a total generation capacity of 151.8MW , located in Taiba Ndiaye, Senegal.
This project falls in line with the Senegalese’ government wanting to integrate renewable energy technology into its energy mix to ensure a reliable and sustainable power supply is meeting the increasing demand.
The country’s national utility Senelec (Societe Nationale d’Electricite du Senegal) will purchase the clean power under a 20-year power purchase agreement which was signed in December 2013.
Project construction process
ACEI will work closely with the project’s developers, a French-based group Sarreole S.a.r.l, providing financial support and project equity.
The construction of the wind farm is expected to be carried out over three years in a three series phase of 50.8MW. ACEI said in a company statement that Chapin International & Co is acting as the project development and financial advisor for the project.
Paul Hanrahan, CEO and co-founder of ACEI, said: “This project makes a lot of sense for Senegal – both from an economic as well as an environmental standpoint. Senegal’s impressive economic growth requires more electric generating capacity to be built as its electrification rate [approx 75%] is well above average for the Sub-Saharan region.”
According to Hanrahan, the Senegalese Government has made a commitment to transition from diesel-based power generation to cheaper and cleaner energy sources, such as wind power.
Hanrahan added: “Because this is a priority project under President Macky Sall’s Plan Emergent Senegal, dedicated to accelerating the country’s economic growth, we are confident that the project will move ahead quickly.”