The need to preserve land was one of the reasons put forward by Bui Power Authority deputy chief executive Anthony Osafo-Kissi for the development of the continent’s first floating solar photovoltaic (FPV) and co-located solar plant. A 1MW pilot project on the Bui reservoir was commissioned in Q1 2021, along with the first 50MWp tranche of an eventual 250MWp ground-mounted scheme beside the dam.
The projects were built by China's Meinergy Technology on the basis of an engineering, procurement and construction and financing (EPC+F) contract at costs of about $1m and $47.5m respectively. Both currently operate as stand-alone plants but are planned to be operated in hybrid modes with the hydropower plant.
An additional 100MW ground-mounted solar PV plant is under construction and will be commissioned in Q2 2022. The procurement process for the final phase of the ground-mounted solar PV plant is nearing completion as is one for the expansion of the FPV to 5MW.
Other planned schemes have hit delays. The Seychelles government announced plans in 2018 for an estimated floating solar plant in the Le Rocher lagoon on Mahé Island (AE 373/9). The 4MWp Lagoon le Rocher Floating Solar PV is expected to generate some 5.8GWh/yr, about 1.6% of the 2030 energy target. Its development was awarded to France’s Quadran in January 2020. However, Covid-19 was blamed for delays to the plant’s technical designs and early phase of development (AE 437/5).