Africa REN starts construction for 38MW Burkina Faso solar project

BURKINA FASOWest Africa-focused renewable energy independent power producer, Africa REN, has commenced construction for the 38 MW Kodeni Solar power plant in Burkina Faso after reaching financial close.

Once completed, the renewable energy facility will be the largest solar power plant in the West African country.

The plant is scheduled to be commissioned in August 2022 and Kodeni Solar plant will supply power to Burkina Faso’s state-owned electricity utility, SONABEL, via a  25-year power purchase agreement (PPA). 

INEO by EQUANS, a subsidiary of French energy company, Engie Group, has been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the project.

The project will create 150 direct jobs in the construction phase and 35 permanent jobs in the operation phase.

“We are particularly proud of the step we are taking today. Kodeni Solar will be the largest solar power plant in Burkina Faso to become operational. We would like to extend our special thanks to the Government of Burkina Faso and to the teams at SONABEL for their warm welcome and unwavering support in bringing this project to fruition in a very short timeframe,” said Gilles Parmentier, CEO of Africa REN.

Project to help Burkina Faso achieve energy independence

With an annual production of 73,000 MWh, the Kodeni solar power plant will provide clean, reliable and affordable energy to nearly 115,000 homes.

It will also reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels and avoid the emission of 41,000 tons of CO2 each year, helping Burkina Faso to further address climate change.

Dr. Bachir Ismael Ouedraogo, Minister of Energy, said, “This is an essential project for the energy autonomy of Burkina Faso. Solar energy is the cheapest and most abundant source of electricity for the country. Kodeni Solar also demonstrates that the framework put in place by the government to encourage public-private partnerships is beginning to bear fruit. More than 500MW of capacity will be added before 2025 at an extremely competitive price, to the benefit of the Burkinabe population and businesses.”

Development of the project was undertaken by Africa REN with the support of the Seed Capital Assistance Facility, an initiative from the United Nations Environment Programme, that co-financed the project development phase.

FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, Access to Energy Fund (a fund managed by FMO on behalf of the Dutch government) and the Interact Climate Change Facility (ICCF), a joint facility of European Development Institutions, provided the long-term debt. 

Huub Cornelissen, Director Energy at FMO, said: “Kodeni Solar is one of our first investments in Burkina Faso, a country where we feel welcome and where there is tremendous opportunity in the renewables sector. With our partners in the country and in the wider region, we are thrilled to engage in a greener future for the Sahel at a time when such investment is badly needed.”

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