Senegal giant reaches first power milestone

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A 159MW wind farm in Senegal, in Africa, has been connected to the country’s power to provide power for the first time. The 158.7MW Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye (PETN) wind farm, developed by Lekela, first entered construction 10 months ago.

The last of the 46 Vestas turbines will be installed by the end of 2019.

The substation has also been finished and energised, said Lekela, with the wind farm expected to enter full commercial operation in 2020.

PETN represents a 15% increase in Senegal’s generation capacity. The project forms part of Plan Senegal Emergent, the government’s economic development accelerator programme.

Lekela has a long-term commitment to the Taiba N’Diaye community and has developed a plan of socio-economic investments for the local people, estimated to contribute up to $20m (€16m) over the lifetime of the wind farm.

As well as creating hundreds of employment opportunities during construction, Lekela has created a programme of activities to improve education, enterprise and the environment. Already, two new marketplaces have been constructed, while a new IT centre is being built for local schoolchildren.

Lekela Senegal general manager Massaer Cisse said, “The first megawatts of energy are today entering Senegal’s grid, giving the country its first taste of clean, renewable wind power. This is an exciting time and it brings us a step closer to our ultimate goal of providing power for millions of Senegalese.

“Providing power is just the start. With every project we build, we go beyond energy, investing in our local communities to build a lasting, positive impact. We’re here for 20 years and we want to help the Taiba community grow.”

Lekela also recently secured financial close on its 250MW West Bakr Wind project in Egypt, expected to be fully operational by 2021.