Saft wins contract to store electricity for the Boundiali solar power plant

CÔTE D’IVOIRE – Saft, a subsidiary of the French group TotalEnergies, has won a contract from French industrial engineering company Eiffage Energie Systèmes to deliver a 10MW energy storage system (ESS) for the Boundiali solar PV power plant.

The 37.5MWp plant is owned and operated by CI-Energies (Côte d’Ivoire Energies) and is located in Boundiali, a city of about 40,000 residents in the north of Côte d’Ivoire.

Touted as the first large-scale solar project in Côte d’Ivoire, it will produce clean power for 30,000 households and avoid the emission of 27,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year.

The ESS, designed to withstand semi-arid conditions, will help smooth the intermittency of solar power and will ensure stable, reliable power to the local grid. This will be facilitated by the rapid charge and discharge of the batteries.

According to Saft, the lithium-ion ESS will provide 13.8MWh of energy storage, together with power conversion and medium voltage power station systems.

CI Energies will also test the ESS in other network support options such as ramp rate control, frequency support, reactive power support, and black start.

Côte d’Ivoire’s electricity supply is largely supplied by thermal energy and hydroelectric dams, according to Saft, however, the government plans to ensure the energy mix comprises 42% renewables by 2030.

As the main contractor for the Boundiali project, it was vital to find an ESS partner that could not only meet the technical requirements but would also ensure that the system would operate reliably throughout a 10-year life,” said Ludovic Bavière of Eiffage Energie Systems

The implementation of the project will require an investment of US$42.07 million. The Ivorian government is relying on two sources of funding, including a US$28.40 million loan from Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), the German development agency, and a US$10.20 million grant from the European Union (EU).

Considered  Ivory Coast’s first solar project when the financing agreements were signed in 2019, the implementation of the Boundiali project is years behind schedule, being overtaken by other initiatives notably those of the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) “Scaling Solar” program.

Under this program, the World Bank Group’s private sector financing arm plans to build two 60 MWp solar power plants, one in Laboa and the other in Touba.

The selection phase for the developers of these projects is underway with at least 10 companies in the running.

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