The two power plant will be installed in Kahone and Kael. They will be the first developed in Senegal under the Scaling Solar program overseen by the World Bank, which operates the IFC as its private sector investment arm.
The Scaling Solar initiative aims to create viable markets for solar power in the developing world with the IFC as principal transaction advisor. The programme has already contributed to construction of power plants in several African states, including Ethiopia and Togo.
“With the signing of this funding, Senegal is once again demonstrating that the Scaling Solar approach is achieving record prices by attracting world-leading players while also enabling competition,” said Aliou Maiga, IFC regional director for West and central Africa.
The solar plants will have a combined capacity of 60MW and will provide 600,000 people with affordable electricity. The US $59m financing was granted to Meridiam, Engie and the Sovereign Fund for Strategic Investments (FONSIS). The French companies Engie and Meridiam will each hold a 40% stake, and 20% will be reserved for FONSIS.
Engie has already participated in the construction of a 30MW photovoltaic solar plant in Santhiou Meke and another 29.5MW plant in Ten Merina, in the Thies region, a short distance from Dakar. Several other projects are underway to provide solar energy solutions to populations not connected to the national electricity grid.