Burkina Faso to build four solar power plants to enhance access to affordable electricity

BURKINA FASO – The Government of Burkina Faso through State owned power company, Sonabel has announced plans to build four solar projects in the towns of Dori, Diapaga and Gaoua.

Sonabel has already floated the tenders for the projects and invited interested bidders to present their proposels for the 4 megawatt-scale PV plants.

Two of the solar power projects will be located in a town known as Dori and are expected to generated a total power capacity of 6 MW.

The other two will have installed capacities of 2MW and 1MW and will be located in the towns of Diapaga and Gaoua, respectively.

Sonabel in a statement stated that interested developers have until Oct. 5 to submit their proposals for the Solar Power projects.

The state Utility firm further revealed that the African Development Bank is supporting the tender.

The move is expected to improve electricity penetration in Burkina Faso, a country which has one of the lowest electricity penetration rates globally.

According to a report by Sea4all Africa Burkina Faso’s electricity penetration rates currently stand at 19%.

The country’s urban population has an electricity penetration rate of 60%. This however tangentially drops to 3% when it comes to rural areas.

 To address this challenge, Société Nationale d’électricité du Burkina Faso (Sonabel), the West African country’s national utility company has been working towards improving its power generation capacity.

Particular focus has been put on renewable energy which is both environmentally friendly and affordable.

Burkina Faso had only installed 62 MW of PV capacity by the end of 2019, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

However, there are currently several large-scale PV projects under development throughout the country.

For example, in February French PV developer Urbasolar – part of Axpo Group – started building a 30 MW solar plant in Pâ, in the Mouhoun Loop region of northwestern Burkina Faso.

The project pipeline also includes projects with capacities of 20 MW and 15 MW which are being developed by a consortium formed by France’s Quadran and Spain’s Soltech and Syscom.

The arrays will be built in Zano, Boulgou province, in southeastern Burkina Faso, and in Boucle de Mouhoun, in the central part of the country.

The latest project joins the many that have been undertaken in Burkina Faso to increase power generation for the benefit of the citizens.

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