30MW, this is the biggest solar project with construction expected to start this fall in Senegal, contributing to the government’s objective to diversify its energetic mix while participating to the local economic development.
Meyreuil, July 20th 2016. Optimum Tracker, a company specialized in the design, production and installation of solar trackers for large photovoltaic power plants, is going to build the biggest PV power plant in Senegal: 30MW at Santhiou-Mekhé, Thies area in Senegal, for Solairedirect an ENGIE subsidiary.
“Africa is an important market for Optimum Tracker because we are contributing to enhancing the daily life of people who have limited access to electricity. It’s also a major continent for our international development, especially when we see a partner like ENGIE planning to increase its renewable energies operations locally”, explains Madyan De Welle, Optimum Tracker’s CEO of whom the company is in charge of manufacturing and installing the mounting systems for this project.
The Santhiou-Mékhé power plant falls within the Emerging Senegal Plan (ESP) launched by the President Macky Sall in 2014 with the ambition to create 350MW of solar power plants in the country to diversify its energetic mix while tapping into a largely underexploited resource: the sun. This power plant was created thanks to a public-private partnership between the Strategic Investment Sovereign Fund (FONSIS), Proparco (AFD) and Meridiem. The electricity will be bought by the Senegal National Electricity Company (SENELEC) and injected into the national network.
Substantial rapid economic benefits for the local population and for the country
In rural areas where up to 60% of the population lives, the electrification level is about 17%. The arrival of this power plant is a real step forward for the improvement of local life conditions. With a solar radiance of 2000kWh/m² on the area, we estimate that 32 000 homes and 250 000 people will be powered thanks to it.
It is also a great boost for the local economy thanks to the recruiting and training of about 100 people by Optimum Tracker for the construction of the 64ha (158 acres) site, with numerous indirect jobs generated.. 92 000 modules and 11 250 piles will be installed in a semi-desert area by Optimum Tracker and the construction site is expected to last 3 month for the installation of ground mounting systems .