Power Flows to the Grid from the First Ever Utility-Scale Wind Farm in Senegal and West AfricaThursday 12th December 2019
Lekela, the renewable power generation company that delivers utility-scale projects across Africa, today celebrates a landmark moment as Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye (PETN) is connected to Senegal’s national electricity grid to provide power for the first time.
This milestone for the 158.7MW project marks another step in PETN’s journey towards providing power for millions of Senegalese. The connection to the grid enables the first megawatts of power to flow from PETN. As West Africa’s first utility scale wind farm, PETN provides much needed clean energy to Senegal’s grid.
Just ten months after the start of construction, almost all the turbines required for the project have been erected, with the final turbines set to be constructed by the end of 2019. The substation has also been finished and energised. Once complete in 2020, the wind farm will consist of 46 Vestas wind turbines that will produce 158.7MW, representing a 15% uplift to Senegal’s generation capacity. The project forms part of Plan Senegal Emergent, the government’s economic development accelerator programme.
While construction will take less than two years, the project will generate electricity for Senegal over a period of 20 years. Lekela has a long-term commitment to the Taiba N’Diaye community and has developed a plan of socio-economic investments for the local people, estimated to contribute up to US$20m over the lifetime of the wind farm. As well as creating hundreds of employment opportunities during construction, Lekela has created a programme of activities to improve education, enterprise and the environment. Already, two new marketplaces have been constructed, while a new IT centre is being built for local schoolchildren.
Massaer Cisse, General Manager for Senegal at Lekela said, “The first megawatts of energy are today entering Senegal’s grid, giving the country its first taste of clean, renewable wind power. This is an exciting time and it brings us a step closer to our ultimate goal of providing power for millions of Senegalese.
“Providing power is just the start. With every project we build, we go beyond energy, investing in our local communities to build a lasting, positive impact. We’re here for 20 years and we want to help the Taiba community grow. We’ve already constructed two new marketplaces and recently we ran a four-month electrical training course for twelve young adults in the community.”
As well as this milestone on PETN, Lekela also recently secured financial close on its 250MW West Bakr Wind project in Egypt. Expected to be fully operational by 2021, West Bakr will produce over 1,000 GWh per year of clean energy for the Egyptian grid. In total, Lekela now has over 1,000MW of wind power in operation or construction.