The electricity sector in Burkina Faso is characterized by a low level of access to electricity among the population (18%), with an essentially thermal system of electricity production that is inadequate, expensive and produces high CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the country has excellent solar potential which it began to exploit in 2017, with the commissioning of the Zagtouli power plant (33 MWp). Greater reliance on this sustainable source of energy will reduce the use of thermal power plants and provide a highly competitive kilowatt to hour ratio. In order to develop this sector, the Burkina Faso government is supporting both public-funded solar projects, to facilitate national ownership of the technology, and projects led by private companies, to accelerate the large-scale roll-out of solar energy.
The Yeleen program is developing photovoltaic production and facilitating the integration of this energy into the grid through additional storage facilities. Four photovoltaic power plants must be constructed to achieve this goal—42 MWp near Ouagadougou, 6 MWp in Dori, 2 MWp in Diapaga and 1 MWp in Gaoua.
The Yeleen program is also helping to reinforce and expand the distribution grid to improve people’s access to electricity. It is also developing decentralized electricity production from solar energy through mini-grids and individual solutions.
The widespread roll-out of grid-integrated solar energy is an innovation for SONABEL. The program includes technical support to help further develop the national company's skills.
The energy production from the new public solar power plants must cover 5% of national consumption while reducing carbon emissions.
The installation of the energy storage system in Ouagadougou, the main node of the national grid, is a first for West Africa. With a capacity of 8 MW/8 MWh, this system improves the quality of the electricity delivered to the grid. Moreover, it represents the first stage in the construction of a grid capable of accommodating more intermittent solar energy production. At the same time, the reinforcement of the distribution grid is supplying electricity to 15,000 new customers.
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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