Mali commissions new solar power plants to enhance access to clean energy

MALI – Two new photovoltaic solar power plants have been commissioned in Mali’s Capital, Bamako to boost access to reliable, clean and affordable energy.

The solar plants, have the capacity to produce 100kWp of solar energy and are expected to have a life span of more than 25 years.

One of the plants is located at University of Science, Technology and Techniques of Bamako (USTTB) and at the other is situated in Gabriel Touré Hospital.

The commissioning of the projects are great news for particularly at a time like this when the nation’s affairs are dominated by the political crisis resulting from the coup d’état that overthrew Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta.

Apart from providing affordable and reliable power to their host institutions the two installations are connected to the Mali’s national grid to allow for offloading of surplus electricity for the benefit of the entire nation.

They will also contribute towards reducing the carbon footprint of the two host institutions and of the country as a whole.

At the Gabriel Touré Hospital in Bamako, a battery storage system has also been installed to store electricity.

According to Africa Energy Portal each of the two solar power plants is expected to supply 182MWh electricity annually.

The two solar power plants were constructed as part of a cooperation agreement between the Malian Ministry of Energy and Water through the Renewable Energy Agency of Mali (AER-Mali and the Lithuanian Ministry of Environment.

The Lithuanian Ministry of Environment has a special program on climate change which aims at transferring the Lithuanian knowledge and experience to Mali through the installation of solar energy technologies.

The cooperation program between Mali and Lithuania in the field of solar energy is expected to lead to the construction of other clean energy production facilities in the country.

Although undergoing significant political challenges at the moment, Mali has an ambitious aim of ramping up its installed renewables capacity to roughly 1.42 GW by 2030, or about nine times more capacity than it currently has installed.

The nation also aims to install more than 600 MW of off-grid renewables over the next decade.

Early this year, Mali awarded the Amea Power Group a contract for the construction and operation (for 25 years) of a 50 MW photovoltaic solar power plant in Mali.

It is however not known whether the achievement of this ambitious gold will be set back by the current political upheavals in the country or they will move on with minimal interruptions.

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