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Masdar to build solar-plus-storage project integrated with existing wind plant in the Seychelles

EPC services on the project will include subsea cabling, switchgear extensions, and an underground water piping system for module cleaning. Credit: Flickr: Dronepicr

Masdar, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, has partnered with the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC) of the Seychelles to build a 5MW solar PV plant with 5MW / 3.3MWh of battery storage.

The project is being financed with a AED31 million (US$8.44 million) loan from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), as well as equity from PUC.

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The 5MW Ile de Romainville Solar Park will be located on the same site as the existing 6MW Port Victoria Wind Farm, which was also built by Masdar in 2013 and which also received ADFD financing of AED103 million. Both the wind and solar-plus-storage projects will also be integrated with PUC’s existing power station.

The battery will then be able to provide services for grid stability and safe operation of PUC’s conventional fuel-fired power station when supplying electricity to the main island of Mahé.

The Seychelles currently relies heavily on fossil fuels, which account for around 20% of the country’s imports. In this regard, the Ile de Romainville solar project is expected to save around 2 million litres of fuel annually.

Philippe Morin, CEO of PUC, said: “By combining solar energy with wind power, Seychelles will double its renewables capacity while freeing up resources for economic development. The battery storage component will also address the intermittency challenges of renewables, further consolidating Seychelles’ energy security.”

EPC services on the project will include subsea cabling, switchgear extensions, and an underground water piping system for module cleaning and the project is due for completion in Q2 2019.

Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, director general of ADFD, said: “Seychelles has placed climate change at the centre of its sustainable development strategy. Contributing to the financing of this solar park with integrated battery storage will bolster ADFD’s efforts in supporting the island country’s priorities, especially with regard to mitigating carbon emissions through the deployment of renewable energy. Cutting-edge projects like the Ile de Romainville Solar Park demonstrate the benefits of renewable energy ventures in long-term socio-economic development.”

The Seychelles has set a target of 5% renewables by 2020 and 15% by 2030. It has launched a tender for 4MW of floating solar in the Lagoon le Rocher. This will be the first utility-scale floating PV project in Africa and as well as one of the first salt-water floating solar PV plants in the world.

Earlier this year, Masdar partnered with state-run utility Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) to share technical knowledge and project experience on solar, storage and smart cities.

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