Burkina Faso suffers from a chronic electricity shortage which causes major outages, especially during the warm season. The extremely high generation costs and sale of energy below cost also weaken the financial situation of the National Electricity Company (SONABEL).
A possible strategy to increase the electricity supply and reduce its cost price could be a greater use of cheaper non-thermal energy imports. The large-scale development of domestic solar power generation, beyond the small rural grids and individual systems, is another solution. The Zagtouli solar power plant has been built to develop this low-cost energy available in the country.
The construction of the Zagtouli solar power plant, southwest of the capital Ouagadougou, was completed in September 2017.
France and the European Union pooled their efforts to get this large-scale project off the ground. With its 129,600 solar panels covering an area of 60 hectares, the equivalent of 84 football pitches, the Zagtouli solar power plant will supply clean energy to 660,000 people, while reducing the generation cost by a factor of four. The construction has been entrusted to CEGELEC (Vinci Group), whose €37 million contract includes two years of operation to prepare SONABEL’s staff for the management of this power plant.
This project meets the priorities set by the Government of Burkina Faso under the National Economic and Social Development Plan (PNDES) and the commitments made during COP21. The Zagtouli solar power plant is the first step in an extensive program to develop solar energy production in Burkina Faso. The objective is to supply over 100 MW of solar energy on Burkina Faso’s grid by 2020, i.e. about 30% of the country’s total production.
By producing 4% of Burkina Faso’s annual consumption, this power plant is making a major contribution to the total electricity supply with a very competitive generation cost. The Zagtouli solar power plant will save 26,000 t of CO2 every year. It will accelerate the development of solar expertise in Burkina Faso, both at SONABEL and with its future subcontractors.
This project is carried out with the support of the European Union
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.
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