Developing Solar Energy Production and Modernizing the Electricity Operator's IT System

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Bénin : Développer la production d’énergie solaire et moderniser le système d’information de l'opérateur électrique
By helping to finance a photovoltaic power plant, AFD supports Benin in the development and diversification of its electricity production. The modernization of the national electricity operator's IT system optimizes its performance and customer service quality.
Context

Energy is a key issue in Benin's development. As the electricity sector suffers from many issues; including high production costs, insufficient coverage rate in rural areas, aging networks, shortages and regular outages; these difficulties make the country particularly dependent on neighboring countries for its electricity supply. However, Benin has enormous potential in the field of renewable energy, in particular photovoltaic solar energy, the development of which is one of its priorities.

This prospect supports the diversification of Benin’s sources of electricity production in accordance with the commitments it made at COP 21 in favor of low-carbon growth.

Description

The DEFISSOL project provides for the construction of a 25-megawatt peak solar power plant on the Onigbolo site in south-eastern Benin. With 40 ha of photovoltaic panels across a total area of 100 ha, this installation will be one of the largest in the country and will supply electricity to 350,000 Beninese. Managed by the Société Béninoise d'Energie Electrique (SBEE—Beninese Electric Power Company), this plant will contribute towards increasing the country's national electricity production capacity.

The digital component of the DEFISSOL project is part of the Beninese State’s desire to integrate digital technology into all of its activity sectors. Modernizing the SBEE IT system will optimize the management of the solar power plant. Collecting data, using new applications for billing and payments, these tools improve the operator's commercial and financial management. In terms of human resources, an important component of change management and staff training also simplifies the processes.

Impacts

DEFISSOL strengthens Benin’s energy autonomy and supports the country's low-carbon economic development. This project is helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the Benin electricity mix, as well as lowering the cost of electricity for the country's households.

Moreover, modernization of the IT system improves the management and financial sustainability of the SBEE. With the increased use of digital technology, the operator also offers its customers an improved service, with such features as, since 2019, mobile bill payments.

01/01/2017
Project start date
Onigbolo
Location
60 500 000
EUR
Financing amount
Ongoing
Status
Société béninoise d’énergie électrique (SBEE)
Beneficiaries
Union européenne State of Benin
Co-financiers

The content of this project information sheet falls under the sole responsibility of the AFD and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the European Union.