TuNur Ltd has filed an application with the Tunisian Ministry of Energy, Mines and Renewable Energy to develop a 4.5 GW solar export project in the Sahara desert in southwestern Tunisia
According to TuNur, the authorization of the solar power plant will lead to electricity transmission that will run from the North African coast to Malta central Italy and south of France using submarine cable by 2020.
The first cable will link Tunisia and Malta, which is already connected to the European grid. The second cable system will run to central Italy from Tunisia with a shoring point North of Rome. According to the firm, this system has been under development for many years. It is also currently being evaluated as a project of common interest by the European community.
A third cable is under study and will link Tunisia directly to the South of France. According to the company, the first part of the project is projected to cost $1.6Bn. In a statement, TuNur stated that the generated power will be able to provide electricity to more than 5m European homes. This also the same as providing fuel to more than 7m electric vehicles.
The electricity supplied from the solar power plant will also serve to meet Tunisia’s domestic power demand. This is because part of the production will be available for local and national consumption.
CEO of TuNur Kevin Sara explained that they are able to produce twice as much electricity from the site in Sahara. He further attributes this to the fact that the site in the Sahara receives twice as much solar energy compared to sites in central Europe. This will also save them money.
El Ghrib Collective Lands Management Board owns the proposed land for the solar power plant in the Sahara desert. Chairman of the management board Mohamed Larbi Ben said that the construction is expected to support economic development for Tunisia.