Construction of the second largest solar power plant in Burkina Faso has commenced. Urbasolar, French company and project developers confirmed the report.
The project is part of the country’s solar programme, which aims to achieve 200 MW of solar energy via the construction of a series of five-power stations. The power plant will be in the municipality of Pâ a commune located 250 kilometres west of the capital Ouagadougou.
Electrification rate in the Burkina Faso
The power plant which will sit on a 35 hectares of land will be equipped with 25,000 panels for a total production capacity of 33 MW. Total cost of the project amounts to US $36m which was mobilised by Urbasolar via a financial pool including Proparco, a subsidiary of the French Development Agency (AFD) group, as well as the West African Development Bank.
The plant will be operated under a PPP contract by Urbasolar for 25 years before being handed over to the Burkinabe State. The power generated by the plant will be purchased by the national electricity company (Sonabel), which will distribute it to 150 000 households in six localities where people have difficulty accessing electricity, as in Pa.
The electrification rate in the Burkina Faso is very low. The country relies heavily on on thermal-fossil fuel (70% of total power generation) and hydropower. It also consists of 28 fossil fuel power stations and 4 hydropower stations.
Although Burkina Faso has high solar energy potential, solar energy represented only 0.1% of the total national energy consumption. Wind energy is also the least favourable energy in the country due to low wind speed. The main electricity supply strategy is to establish interconnections with neighbouring countries and to extend and repair the existing network.