The government of Gambia in partnership with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has launched a tender for the construction of a solar power plant with a total capacity of 150 MW, in line with the nation’s goal to increase the capacity of its electricity grid.
The solar photovoltaic project is also part of a renewable energy programme launched by the government with the support of its partners, including the World Bank and the European Investment. For its implementation, the two donors released US $164m in March 2019 to support the government.
Stages of construction
The solar project will be developed in two phases; Phase one includes construction of a solar photovoltaic power plant that will be able to supply 80MW. It will be commissioned in 2021. Phase two will involve construction of a 70MW power plant scheduled to be completed in 2025. The solar park will have a battery storage system with a capacity ranging from 100Mwh to 150MWh.
The device will allow the plant to supply electricity after sunset while the storage capacity could be extended in future. The Gambian government has already identified a 225-hectare plot of land in Soma, a town in central Gambia, near the border with Senegal.
This is a strategic site as it is located near a 225/30 kV OMVG substation under construction. The consultant selected will provide technical assistance for the implementation. They will have will have the primary responsibility for preparing the feasibility study for the project.
The consultant will also help to issue permits to independent power producers (IPPs) for the negotiation and signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) with the National Water & Electricity Company (Nawec), which provides water and electricity utilities in Gambia. They will prepare the lines that will connect the future solar photovoltaic power plant to the substation.