Masdar signs deal for Mauritania solar plant

Renewables company set to work on 15MW PV project

The new 15MW plant will help meet soaring energy demand, currently recorded at 12% for 2012.
The new 15MW plant will help meet soaring energy demand, currently recorded at 12% for 2012.

Masdar has announced that it has signed an agreement to develop a 15 MW solar PV project in the capital city of Mauritania, Nouakchott. The plant will be the first utility-scale solar power project of its kind in the country, and will help the country diversify from principally diesel-powered generation

“Mauritania has some of the highest levels of solar radiation in the world, making it an ideal place for solar power installations. We are pleased to work with such esteemed partners on this important project and remain committed to harnessing our abundant renewable energy resources. Masdar has gained tremendous experience in the renewable energy sector through its projects worldwide and we look forward to future opportunities for cooperation,” said Mauritania’s minister of petroleum, energy and mines, Taleb Ould Abdivall.

The country currently has a generation capacity of 144 MW, principally supplied by diesel generators. Mauritania has significant renewable energy potential, with the country’s wind energy potential measured at around four times its annual energy demand.

“This project also proves that energy access and commercially viable renewable energy can go hand-in-hand. Partnerships are at the core of Masdar’s business strategy and projects like this one underscore the critical role collaboration plays in renewable energy development,” said Masdar CEO, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, on the agreement.

The 15MW plant is set to built next to Nouakchott’s university which is currently under construction.

Mauritania is currently recording an annual energy demand growth of 12%, and is facing severe energy shortages. The country also has an electrification rate of just 60%.

“With the demand for energy rapidly increasing – especially in the developing world – tapping into renewable energy is critical. The integration of wind, solar and hydro power helps to reduce the strain on our natural resources and serves as a bridge to energy security and economic development opportunities. Investing in renewable energy preserves natural resources, contributes to energy security and water security, and fosters sustainable development,” Al Jaber added.

When complete, the plant will be owned and operated by Societe Mauritanienne de l’electricite (SOMELEC), the state-run electric utility.



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