Largest Solar PV in Africa inaugurated in Praia

In line with the National Strategic Plan of Cape Verde which strives to have fifty percent of the country living on renewable energy by 2016, the Cape Verdean government awarded a contract to Martifer Solar on January 7th, 2010 for the installation of two solar photovoltaic (PV) plants in Cape Verde.

The first Solar PV project, which is located in the island of Sal, northeast of the Country, was commissioned on the 1st of October 2010. it occupies an area of 9.75 hectares and supplies 2.5 MW of peak power with a capacity of expansion up to 5MWp. The second and biggest of the two projects in Praia, island of Santiago which occupies an area of 13 hectares and has 5 MW peak power was inaugurated on the 2nd of November 2010. These projects, so far, are the biggest solar PV plants in sub-Saharan Africa.

Both inaugural ceremonies were presided over by the Prime Minister of Cape Verde, Dr. José Maria Neves who said in his speech during the inauguration in Praia “It is one big workmanship that will go a long way to make Cape Verde more competitive in terms of modern infrastructural development. The two PV parks are now responsible for the production of 4% of the energy consumed in the country.

Furthermore, these two parks will allow a reduction of 13 thousand tons of carbon gas (CO2) emission per year, creating a huge positive impact in the environment. This will also save the country millions in importation of at least 2.6 thousand tons of oil and allow the exportation of its CO2-emission permits to other Countries, thus, a boost to the country’s economy.

In 2011, when the four other Aeolian projects already in construction will be ready, Cape Verde will be able to produce more than 25% of its energy, through the force of the wind and the sun, becoming a reference in Africa and the world in this regards”.

The Executive Director of ECREEE, Mr. Mahama Kappiah was also present at the inauguration. In an interview with the press he said “these two pioneering projects represent a bench mark for all other African countries to follow in terms of renewable energy, and it also shows how viable these alternatives can be taking into account technical and economical aspects which has constituted some of the barriers in its implementation in West Africa”.

The two PV recently installed costs around 28 million Euros and was financed through a Portuguese credit fund for RE to Cape Verde in the total value of 100 million Euros.