Solar PV Plant Commissioned In The Central African Republic
The plant has a capacity of 15MW.
The Central African Republic (CAR)’s first large-scale photovoltaic solar power plant is now operational. The 15MW Sakaï solar project is located near Bangui and was built by China Energy Engineering Group subsidiary, Tianjin Electric Power Construction Company.
The plant comprises 33,432 solar panels spread over 16 hectares and is expected to meet 30% of Bangui’s electricity demand. It is owned and operated by Enerca (Energie Centrafricaine), CAR's principal energy utility.
China and CAR reached a deal on developing the project at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in September 2018. Construction got under way in April 2021, with project supervision by the Changjiang Institute of Survey, Planning, Design and Research.
The construction phase employed 700 people.
Arthur Bertran Piri, CAR Minister for Energy Development and Water Resources said the infrastructure will improve the overall electricity supply in Bangui, in particular for the industrial sector. The city suffers regular power outages that sometimes last 16 hours a day.
The electricity sector in the CAR faces many challenges including inadequate infrastructure, a weak policy and regulatory framework and a utility that struggles to recover its costs which would help it maintain and expand its services.
The country is working to boost to its hydroelectric power capacity by 2030 through four hydroelectric schemes and the rehabilitation of the Boali II hydropower station.
Photo: Solar farm (© Milacroft | Dreamstime)