Taiba N'Diaye wind project

Lekela Power announced on 6 December that groundbreaking has taken place at its 158.7MW Taiba N’Diaye wind power project, located around 70km north of Dakar in Senegal. The plant is expected to start operating in 2020 and will supply more than 2m people. It will occupy a 67ha site and use 46 3.45MW V126 turbines supplied by Vestas, supported by the Danish export credit agency Eksport Kredit Fonden (EKF), which covered 50% of the project cost. Vestas is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor and will also be responsible for operations and maintenance.

Taiba N’Diaye reached financial close in August with backing from EKF and the United States’ Overseas Private Investment Corporation. The World Bank Group’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency is providing political risk insurance and Power Africa assisted with project development. The project is majority owned by Lekela.

Lekela chief executive Chris Antonopoulos said, “Senegal has been quick to embrace the idea and the advantages of renewable energy. Between Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye and several solar power projects also underway, the country is building a clear clean energy template for other African communities to study and follow.”

Taiba N’Diaye will be the biggest wind farm in West Africa, although there are very few sizeable wind projects in the region, and will account for a little under 10% of installed capacity in Senegal in 2020. The country is also expected to have more than 200MW of solar power operating by 2020, raising questions about grid stability. Although the country has a number of diesel plants, barely 20MW is available to compensate for drops in electricity generation. The 130MW Malicounda heavy fuel oil plant, which is still in development, sets some capacity aside for this purpose but more will be needed. Some grid upgrades will also be required to ensure power from Taiba N’Diaye can be comfortably evacuated.

 

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