The Ten Merina project consists of the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of a 30 MWp solar power plant and the construction of a 3-km transmission line on behalf of the client Senelec, the Senegalese electricity utility.
The project is located near Mbouky, approximately 145 km from Dakar. Tenergie, the initial developer of the project, signed a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement with Senelec at the end of December 2013. Meridiam partnered with Eiffage and joined the project as majority shareholder to finalize the development phase and raise the financing required for financial close. As part of the partnership set with FONSIS, the latter was invited to join Ten Merina through the acquisition of 10% of the share capital in Q4 2017.
This is Meridiam’s second solar power project in Senegal, delivering an additional reliable supply of low-cost and low-carbon electricity. Overall, Ten Merina 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 in charge of supervising Meridiam’s four solar plants in Senegal. The plant therefore benefits from pooled resources and return of experience
A farming perimeter
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 drills carried out 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. Thanks to regular trainings held in favour of the communities to enable them to be fully autonomous, transfer of responsibility of the perimeter towards these communities has occurred in February 2021. The 10-ha farming perimeter has created permanent 11 local jobs.
A maternity unit in Ten Merina village
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 Ten Merina village. 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).
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.
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.
Learn more about the project:
Solar power plant in operation in Senegal
from Senergy project leveraged
to local communities are significant
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