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Clean Power Sunrise_in_Africa

Published on July 5th, 2014 | by Mridul Chadha

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Canada’s Windiga Energy To Set Up ‘Largest Solar Power Project Of Its Kind’ In Sub-Saharan Africa

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Sunrise_in_Africa

Western companies are increasingly being attracted to nascent and emerging solar energy markets. The revenue to cost ratio in these countries are still higher than the developed markets, some of which have even started cutting feed-in tariffs or restricting capacity addition targets.

Canada-based Windiga Energy, an experienced renewable energy project developer in Africa, is set to expand its footprint across the sub-Saharan region. The company is set to commission the largest solar photovoltaic power project of its kind in sub-Sahara by December 2015.

The company has roped in the African Development Bank and Siemens to install a 20 MW solar PV project in Burkina Faso. The project would make Windiga Energy the first independent power producer in the African country. Frontier Markets Fund Managers and Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund are expected to provide financial support to the project as well.

The project site has significantly high solar radiation resource of 2,100 kWh/m2/year and fits well in the county’s long-term vision to achieve energy independence by 2025. The project has signed an agreement to supply the electricity generated to National Electricity Company of Burkina (SONABEL).

According to the company website, Windiga will expand on its solar power infrastructure to the neighboring Ghana. Here, too, the company will set up a 20 MW solar PV project. The financing and permits for the project are expected to be finalized by next year, with the commissioning scheduled for 2016.

Dundee Energy, which owns 31% stake in Windiga Energy, last year reported that Canadian independent power producer is planning to set up a 15 MW waste-to-energy power plant in Mauritania and had undertaken a feasibility study for the same.

Windiga seems to have ambitious plans in the renewable energy domain in the nascent and emerging markets and has, as a result, been successful in completing a stake sale deal with Dundee Energy in 2013 worth just over $1 million.

Image credit: Jon Sullivan (Public domain)







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About the Author

currently works as Head-News & Data at Climate Connect Limited, a market research and analytics firm in the renewable energy and carbon markets domain. He earned his Master’s in Technology degree from The Energy & Resources Institute in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Mridul has a keen interest in renewable energy sector in India and emerging carbon markets like China and Australia.



  • JamesWimberley

    How do you integrate renewables at scale in really dodgy Third World grids? I suppose it helps that customers don’t expect reliable service and are used to providing their own backup or coping without.

    • johnBas5

      Answer, you don’t.
      Customers use power then it becomes available.
      Because the power generating method is solar, knowing when power is available is easy for customers to know.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Some places are now running on very expensive diesel. It’s the fuel that costs. Integrating wind and solar is quiet easy. With a bit of storage the diesel generators wouldn’t even need to spin when solar and wind are delivering.

      A lot of the dodgy stuff comes from too little generation capacity during higher demand hours. This results in zone blackouts as not all parts of the grid can be served at once. Adding wind and solar increases supply.

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