The 50 MW Kita solar power plant built on a 100-hectare piece of land in Kita, approximately 180-kilo meters west of Bamako, in the Kayes region of Mali, has been commissioned and fully connected to the Malian power grid.
Constructed under a 30-year build, own, operate and transfer concession, and owned by France’s Akuo Energy Group together with UK clean power projects developer PASH Global, the photovoltaic (PV) park will sell the power it generates under a 28-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with national power company Energie du Mali.
Its annual output is estimated to be enough to supply electricity to at least 120,000 local homes, offsetting more than 52,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
An essential component of economic and social development
The Kita solar plant is not only actively increasing the country’s electrification rate, but it is also an essential component of economic and social development. The successful commissioning of the plant is a step towards reducing the country’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.
The solar plant also incorporates an agricultural and social dimension whereby a five-hectare plot has been developed adjacent to the solar power plant so that those living close to the facility can grow crops. Training in techniques to improve organic farming is also being provided by the Akuo Foundation teams.
During the phase of construction the project created up to 350 local jobs and it has created long terms jobs for about 120 women but this number will gradually expand to 200.
The cost and financing of the project
The construction cost of the facility was over US$ 96M which were mobilized with the support of partners such as the West African Development Bank, the National Agricultural Development Bank of Mali, FMO the Dutch Development Finance Corporation, and the ‘Emerging Africa infrastructure funds managed by Ninety One.