Kahone Solaire and Kaél Solaire projects located respectively in the regions of Kaolack and Diourbel, in the central region of Senegal have started their commercial operations. This was announced by the project contractor, a consortium formed by the Engie SA, Fonds souverain d’investissements stratégiques (Fonsis) and Meridiam.
Engie is a multinational electric utility company headquartered in France that operates in the fields of energy transition, electricity generation and distribution, natural gas, nuclear, renewable energy, and petroleum while FONSIS is a Sovereign Wealth Fund located in Dakar, Senegal. Meridiam, on the other hand, is a global investor and asset manager specialized in developing, financing, and managing long-term public infrastructure projects. The latter is headquartered in Paris, France.
Expectations for the power plants
With a combined capacity of 60 MW (35MW for Kahone Solaire and 25MW for Kaél Solaire) these power plants are expected to provide 540,000 people with cheap and renewable electricity and subsequently create over 400 direct and indirect local jobs. Reportedly, the proposed tariff will be among the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa, at less than 5 US$ cents/kWh (25 XOF).
They will also avoid 89,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year and contribute directly to the country’s ambitious goal of increasing the share of renewable energy in its energy mix to 30%.
The power plants are part of the Scaling Solar initiative in the West African country, jointly led by the Senegalese authorities and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which aims to promote investment in solar energy. Other key contributors of the initiative are FONSIS, ENGIE, Meridiam, Proparco, and the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Proparco is a subsidiary of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) that helps finance and support financial institutions and corporate private-sector projects particularly in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.