Niger gears up for nation’s first-ever wind farm, eventually one of Africa’s largest

Niger gears up for nation’s first-ever wind farm, eventually one of Africa’s largest

Savannah Energy PLC and the Ministry of Petroleum, Energy and Renewable Energies of the Republic of Niger have signed an agreement for the construction and operation of the country’s first wind farm, which is expected to be one of the largest wind farms in Africa.

The proposed wind farm project, Parc Eolien de la Tarka will aim for an installed power generation capacity of 250MW. It will be created by an independent power producer in the Tahoua region of southern Niger. The farm will consist of 60 wind turbines and will be owned by a subsidiary of Savannah Energy, Savannah Parck Eolien de la Tarka (SPET).

The initial phase of the Project will see SPET carry out a 24-month feasibility study. This study will include an assessment to confirm the wind conditions and how the generated power would be incorporated into the national and regional electricity grids.

The project is expected to take advantage of the development of the West African Power Pool (WAPP), a high voltage interconnection network allowing power exchanges between countries in the region and increased grid stability. Niger is scheduled to be connected to the WAPP in 2023 via a 330kV line financed by the World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Union and the Agence Française de Développement (AfD).

Subject to the planned feasibility study confirming the ultimate scale of the Project, Parc Eolien de la Tarka is expected to produce up to 600GWh per year of electricity. The construction phase of the project is expected to create over 500 job. The Project has the potential to reduce the cost of electricity for Nigeriens and avoid over an estimated 400,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

 

Diversifying Niger’s energy mix through wind

Parc Eolien de la Tarka is also intended to be capable of exporting power to neighbouring countries at competitive tariffs and would significantly diversify Niger’s energy mix. The Project is expected to be sanctioned in 2023, with the first power generation in 2025.

Savannah expects to fund the Project from a combination of its own internally generated cash flows and project-specific debt. Sani Mahamadou, Minister of Petroleum, Energy and Renewable Energies of the Republic of Niger, called the proposed wind farm a truly transformational project for the way it would significantly increase the country’s on-grid power generation capacity. “Such a project is expected to stimulate a significant increase in economic activity across our country, directly and indirectly creating thousands of jobs over the course of the next decade.”

“Today’s announcement follows His Excellency President Mohamed Bazoum’s undertaking at COP 26 last year to develop significant new green sources of energy for Niger.”

Andrew Knott, CEO of Savannah Energy said the independent studies conducted to date indicate the Tahoua region of Niger to have a world-class wind resource. “The project is expected to harness this resource and generate highly competitive, clean, indigenous power for Niger. Parc Eolien de la Tarka will see the country’s on-grid power generation capacity potentially increase by over 40%.”

“Academic study after academic study has shown the relationship between power consumption, income levels and life expectancy to be well understood: the higher a country’s per capita power consumption, the higher both GDP per capita and human life expectancy are expected to be. Parc Eolien de la Tarka is, therefore, a critical project for the development of Niger, which we expect to make a significant contribution to improving the lives of its people,” said Knott.

ENERGY GHANA MAGAZINE

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