The Senergy project consists of the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of a 29.5 MWp solar power plant. Senergy PV S.A. was also in charge of the construction of a 9-km transmission line on behalf of the client Senelec, the Senegalese electricity utility. The project is located in Santhiou
Mekhe approximately 125 km northeast of Dakar.
Senergy SUARL, the initial developer of the project, signed a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Senelec at the end of December 2013. This PPA was subsequently transferred to Senergy PV S.A. Meridiam was approached by Fonsis, the Senegalese sovereign wealth fund, to join the project, finalize the development phase and raise the required financing.
An array of 92,000 photovoltaic panels has been installed and around 30MWp of renewable energy can now be utilised – securing a valuable and sustainable supply of low-cost electricity for Senegal, while providing an uplift to the local economy.
Connection of the new plant to Senegal’s existing power grid has provided muchneeded additional electricity for the country, while also helping to meet the country’s objectives set out in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. Overall, the Senergy project is a significant contributor to Senegal’s installed solar PV capacity and is providing clean and affordable power to more than 200,000 Senegalese people.
A dedicated team is responsible for supervising Meridiam’s four solar plants in Senegal. The plants therefore benefit from pooled resources and return of experience.
A farming perimeter management committee was set up and representatives from the communities were fully trained by IQPA, a local consultant hired by the Project Company. The objective is to help the local population increase their revenues through an intensive farming programme with water now made available all year long, thanks to the boreholes financed by the Project Company. The first harvests (tomatoes, eggplants, okra) occurred in 2019 and vegetables were sold to the local market to the
benefit of the local population. Transfer of responsibility of the perimeter towards these communities occurred in February 2021. The 14-ha farming perimeter has created 11 permanent local jobs.
Maternity unit in Santhiou Mekhe
Due to the difficulties encountered by the population to reach the nearest hospital, and in the context of a voluntary agreement with the local community, the Project Company opted to finance the construction of a maternity unit in Santhiou Mekhe. Since its completion in 2019, this maternity unit, managed by public medical staff deployed by the Ministry of Health, has carried out on average 63 births every month (over 2000 births up now).
Educational content with Kajou
As part of the continuous improvement and capacity building of the population affected by the project (“PAP”), the Project Company has collaborated with Kajou (a social enterprise created by Libraries Without Borders in 2019) to distribute SD cards containing educational videos, texts and audio content in local language (Wolof dialect) (dealing with agriculture, livestock health etc.). An evaluation will be done in 2023 to ensure best relevance of the content.
A major renewable energy research programme in West Africa
The training and research initiative with IDCR (International Development Research Centre) Canada and the Polytechnic School of Dakar to implement the first renewable energy research programme in the region has been in place since February 2019. The programme delivers short term qualification certificates to students as well as engineers and technicians from the energy sector willing to specialize in renewables energy. The first year was marked by the setup of the programme: PhD students, assistants and technicians were hired as part of the project. Over the course of 2019, along with the successful
development of the Solar Systems Testing Centre, the training of 42 technicians (including 7 women) and 52 senior staff (including 12 women) was completed. The programme is evolving and expanding as expected and has trained 100 technicians and 100 officers in total. Considering the success of this programme, a second phase is under discussion with local partners and IDCR, which aims to have a local training program frame to extend across West Africa by 2024.
Project in Senegal
Senegalese people provided with electricity
to a low carbon and inclusive economy
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