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Senegal, Senergy 2 Solar Power

Delivering 20MWp of sustainable solar power for the people of Senegal

Senegal Senergy 2

Context
44% of Senegal’s population has no access to electricity. Senegal relies on fossil fuel imports which are subject to fluctuating supply and leave the country vulnerable to changing oil prices. Senegal is one of the world’s poorest countries and a lack of affordable power acts as a significant constraint to the country’s economic potential. The Government of Senegal is committed to developing renewable energy and to working with the private sector to increase overall power generation capacity. High levels of sunshine and the falling cost of solar photovoltaic panels make solar power an attractive option.

Project
Senergy 2, in Bokhol, northern Senegal, is west Africa’s first operational IPP solar PV plant. The plant delivers 20MWp of affordable solar power to the national grid. When a financing gap threatened to derail the project, GAP was approached for support by the project’s lead developer and sponsor, GreenWish Partners. By funding €20m of the construction costs through a short-term loan, GAP ensured that Senergy 2 would become operational: supplying new, clean energy to the people of Senegal at 50% below the cost per kilowatt-hour of the existing energy mix. Having derisked the construction phase, Senergy 2 is now well positioned to attract long term debt finance.

Impact
“Without energy there can be neither growth nor development…with the Bokhol facility we take a new step and Senegal enters wholeheartedly into a new, clean energy era.” Republic of Senegal President Macky Sal

GAP’s involvement reduced financial risk by providing time for long-term debt to be put in place. When Senergy 2 is refinanced, GAP will re-invest its funds in other vital renewable energy initiatives. Access to reliable power enables people to study, operate businesses and maintain their health. The majority of the plant’s 24 long-term jobs were filled locally. Senergy 2 will reduce Senegal’s CO2 emissions by up to 24,000 tonnes per annum. Senergy 2 is dedicated to maintaining its positive relationship with local communities, committing funds for locally-defined projects during the lifetime of the plant. So far, funding has been used to train 15 young people in solar panel assembly, maintenance and installation, and to establish local power supply and street lighting for nearby communities. It is anticipated that Senergy 2 will act as a benchmark for future solar projects, stimulating private sector interest in Senegal’s wider renewable energy sector.