The government of Mali through the Malian Agency for the Development of Domestic Energy and Rural Electrification (Amader) has launched the tender for the construction of two solar power plants with a combined capacity of 2.6MW. The project is part of the Solar Energy Project for Rural Development in Mali (PESDR).
The two solar photovoltaic power plants will be developed in the towns of Saye and Sarro. Each plant will provide 1.3MW and will have a storage capacity of 1.5MW. Thanks to a battery storage, the installations will provide electricity to the population after sunset.
Small electricity grids
The two installations will form two small electricity grids that will feed the populations of at least 24 villages in the Macina circle, divided between the communes of Saloba (13 villages), Sana (10 villages) and Matomo (one village). The project is scheduled to be completed within three years.
The Government of Mali is financing the project with a loan of US $14.8m from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB). National Office of Electricity and Water (Onee) of the Kingdom of Morocco is also participating in the development of the project with a contribution of US $454,000.
Energy sector in Mali
Mali faces a severe energy access shortage, despite great improvements in recent years. Access to electricity has doubled in the last decade. However, this still leaves only 25.6% of the country connected. In rural areas this percentage drops down to only 11.9%, while just over half of the population (50.4%) is connected in urban areas.
Electricity production in Mali is dominated by hydraulic (55%) and diesel (45%) sources. Although Mali is endowed with plentiful solar and hydro potential, it currently only has about 310MW of installed capacity to serve a population of around 18 million people. The country currently imports 50MW from Cote d’Ivoire and has approximately 90MW of off-grid production.