Renewable power developer Lekela announced on 12 December that the first phase of the 158.7MW Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye had provided its first power to the grid. The plant, located in Thiès region 70km north of Dakar, is Senegal’s first utility-scale wind project and by some way the largest in West Africa. It is part of the Plan Senegal Emergent and will produce of 15% of national generation capacity over a 20-year period.
Construction has been ongoing for ten months and Lekela says that nearly all of the 46 Vestas 3.45MW V126 turbines have been installed, with the first 16 now operating. The plant is scheduled to be fully operation in April 2020. Vestas, backed by Danish export credit agency Eksport Kredit Fonden, is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor and has a 20-year Active Output Management 5000 service agreement for the project. Spain’s Eiffage Energia is responsible for civil and electric works and balance of plant.
“Providing power is just the start. With every project we build, we go beyond energy, investing in our local communities to build a lasting, positive impact”, Lekela general manager for Senegal Massaer Cisse said. “We’re here for 20 years and we want to help the Taiba community grow. We’ve already constructed two new marketplaces and recently we ran a four-month electrical training course for twelve young adults in the community.”
Taiba N’Diaye may have a noticeable effect on the grid, particularly as the country has limited thermal capacity contracted to manage its impact. This has led to a storage project being planned in parallel to the wind project. Lekela has been negotiating with the government over a storage project but a World Bank Group initiative may end up trumping the private scheme. One Senegalese official told African Energy that the country was being ambitious with the project and could go for a plant with a capacity as high as 200MWh.
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