Burkina Faso signs solar power deal

A Canadian firm is to build Burkina Faso’s first solar power plant.

This week Burkina Faso’s energy and finance ministers signed an investment support agreement with Canadian independent renewable energy power producer Windiga Energy, making the firm the nation’s first solar IPP. The next step is to finalize a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Sonabel, Burkina Faso’s national electricity company, Windiga Energy said.

The firm added that financing for the project will potentially come from the African Development Bank, the Frontier Markets Fund Managers and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund.

Siemens Energy Smart Generation Solutions will build and operate the 20 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in Zina, in Mouhoun province. The plant is scheduled for completion in late 2015, and will be the largest PV power station in sub-Saharan Africa.

"We are very pleased with the support that we received from both the governments of Burkina Faso and Canada allowing us to conclude this strategic agreement that will bring about the construction of a major renewable energy project and the launch of the solar energy industry in Burkina Faso," said Benoit La Salle, Windiga Energy’s president and CEO.

"This power plant will also contribute to the economic development of the region, employing about 150 Burkinabé workers during the construction phase,” he added. 

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