The project consists of the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of a solar PV plant (44 MWp) located in the Kahone region in Senegal, as well as the construction of its transmission line which was handed over to Senelec, the Senegalese electricity utility, upon completion.
The project was tendered under IFC’s Scaling Solar Programme in Senegal and was awarded to Meridiam and Engie as a consortium in April 2018. The project benefits from a 25-year take-or-pay PPA with Senelec backed by a State Guarantee from the State of Senegal.
With this 44 MWp solar PV plant, Meridiam is reaffirming its ambition to become a key player in the clean energy sector in Senegal and in Africa. The plant produces electricity at a competitive price and reduces the sector’s emissions of greenhouse gases, while ensuring local populations can take advantage of the related economic benefits of the project.
A dedicated solar team (Solarsen) is in charge of supervising the 4 Senegalese solar plants and the plant therefore benefits from the experience gathered from Senergy and Ten Merina.
Meridiam and the Project Company engaged the same local E&S advisor mobilized on Senergy and Ten Merina to perform the Environmental and Social impact assessment (ESIA) and the related management and action plans. Senelec, with the support of IFC, has put in place a Resettlement Action Plan in line with IFC Performance Standards and local regulations, and has then proceeded with the compensation of the villagers having customary rights over the project site prior to entry into effect of the PPA.
One of the most important expectations of the local community was to make sure that their youth could benefit from the employment opportunities created during the construction phase. With the support of the Project Company and the EPC constructor, a monitoring committee dedicated to recruitment was set up. It included all stakeholders (chaired by the Mayor and local representatives representing the Project Affected Persons) to ensure local applicants for construction jobs were prioritized. Close collaboration between stakeholders and the strong involvement of the local representatives allowed the project to hire 200 people from Kahone region, nearly 100 % of the national positions, significantly exceeding the 60% target initially set.
The importance of this joint commitment was emphasized in the context of the pandemic. Due to the situation, the contractor’s expatriate staff dedicated to pile-driving activities had to shorten their mission on site. As an alternative, local staff was trained on site by the contractor to drive piles and erect structures. These new qualifications now give workers access to three-times better paid jobs, and to new opportunities in this field of activity (Kahone and other external sites).
To the benefit of economically displaced people, The Project Company has put in place several additional initiatives. For example, it is supporting schools owned by the Project Affected Persons by providing them with equipment and food staples.
The construction of a farm for breeding and agriculture activity will start in Q3 2023.
Senegalese people provided with electricity
Solar power plant
Tonnes of CO2 avoided annually
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