The largest solar power plant in Niger goes into operation

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Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum has inaugurated the Gorou Banda solar power plant, the largest photovoltaic solar power plant in Niger. The plant is equipped with 55,776 solar panels installed on a 27-hectare site located only 12km from the capital Niamey. The plant will begin operating on August 25, 2023, which is when it is anticipated to be connected to Niger’s national electricity grid.

President Bazoum said, “The purpose of this power plant is to lessen load shedding in the Niamey region. In order to lessen load shedding and meet the challenge of industrialization, we are dedicated to projects, some of them even more ambitious.”

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Overview of the largest solar power plant project

According to the Niger government the solar farm will be able to generate 53 GWh of electricity annually, enough to power 70,000 households or 500,000 people in the nation’s capital Niamey. Additionally, the plant is anticipated to stop the annual release of 23,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. A group of French companies led by Sogemcom and Akuo Energy during the previous two years carried out the project. The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, who was present in Niamey for the inauguration said, “This facility, which we are dedicating today, serves as a symbol of cooperation between Niger and the European Union since generating renewable electricity is essential for Niger, Africa, and the entire globe.”

Société nigérienne d’électricité (NIGELEC) managed the project with support from the Artelia/Depe collaboration, a consulting engineering firm. Additionally, Gorou Banda aims to lessen Niger’s reliance on its neighbors for energy.

The Gorou Banda solar power plant project needed an investment of over €30m, of which the EU paid €5.3m. It is currently in its operating phase. The French Development Agency (AFD) has provided a loan in the amount of €23.6 million. Niger however, has contributed just over €1.5m.