The Seychelles inaugurated a UAE-funded five-megawatt solar photovoltaic plant with battery storage, the second clean-energy project in the African island nation.
Developed by Abu Dhabi’s clean energy companyMasdar and the Seychelles’ Public Utilities Corporation, the Ile de Romainville Solar Park was financed by Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, one of the Emirates’ leading development-financing institutions owned by the Abu Dhabi government.
The facilities include the 5MW solar PV plant located in Ile de Romainville, a 3.3MWh (megawatt hours) energy storage system located on Mahe, and a 33kV (kilovolt) system that allows for the safe and stable supply of electricity from the PV power plant to the main island of Mahe, Masdar said in a statement on Monday.
It is estimated that the project will save approximately 2 million litres of fuel annually and offset 6,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
By saving about 2 million litres of fossil fuel annually, Ile de Romainville solar PV plant will enable the country to significantly reduce its carbon footprint, provide a wide range of benefits to its people and empower small businesses, said Mohamed Al Suwaidi, ADFD’s director general.
“We are proud to be able to deliver on our commitment to driving energy transition in Seychelles ... moreover, the project will also make energy more affordable and accessible to the population. The inauguration of the plant also validates ADFD’s sustained efforts to promote the widespread adoption of renewable energy in developing countries,” Mr Al Suwaidi said.
ADFD has committed $350 million in concessionary loans over seven funding cycles to support the establishment of renewable energy projects in developing countries.
Seychelles heavily relies on fossil fuels to meet its electricity demand, with fossil fuels accounting for about 20 per cent of the country’s imports. The country has set a target of 5 per cent renewables last year and 15 per cent by 2030.
“This is one bold step taken by the Public Utilities Corporation towards the stewardship of deploying medium to large scale renewables plants in the main islands of Seychelles,” said Joel Valmont, PUC’s chief executive.
“The successful realisation of this project instils confidence and valuable experience which will help towards the pursuit of environmental sustainability for the country.”
The Ile de Romainville Solar Park was constructed on the same island hosting several wind turbines from ADFD and Masdar’s first project in Seychelles, the Port Victoria Wind Farm, which has been operational since 2013.
The park’s PV array was specifically designed to maximise the use of available land, while allowing for the maintenance of the wind turbines and minimising any shading losses resulting from them.
“Masdar is proud to deliver another renewable energy project to Seychelles in support of the country’s energy independence and renewable energy goals,” said Masdar chief executive Mohammed Al Ramahi.