The Kahone and Kaél solar power plants, with a combined capacity of 60 MWp are now supplying power into Senegal’s national electricity grid. The projects are owned by a consortium of Engie, Meridiam, and Senegal’s Fonsis. These companies will sell power to the Senegalese national electricity company (Senelec) at 25 CFA Francs per kWh.
The Kahone solar power plant has a capacity of 35 MWp and is located in the Kaolack region of the state. On the other hand, the Kaél solar plant has a capacity of 25 MWp and is located in the Diourbel region. It is estimated that the two solar power plants are capable of supplying 580,000 Senegalese households. The projects also avoid the emission of 89,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
The Kahone and Kaél solar power plants were financed with loans from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and Proparco, the private sector financing arm of the French Development Agency (AFD). The parks are also covered by a $6.9 million guarantee from the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, a subsidiary of the World Bank Group.
The Senegalese government has set a target recording 30 per cent renewable energy in its electricity mix by 2025. Solar power is set to be a big part of the push; the Kahone and Kaél solar power plants were developed under the Scaling Solar programme by the IFC. The initiative aims to encourage private companies to invest in solar energy, to provide power to the national grid in the programme countries, and to ensure the rapid implementation of projects through public-private partnerships.