InfraCo Africa, part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) and Solveo Energie, have signed a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Electricité de Guinée (EDG) for the development of the 40MWac Khoumagueli Solar project. The solar energy facility will be the first grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) array in Guinea.
The project is being developed by InfraCo Africa with the support of Aldwych Africa Developments Ltd, in partnership with experienced French solar PV developer, Solvéo Energie S.A.S, a subsidiary of Solvéo Developpement. The parties confirmed that EPC procurement is at a mature stage, and initial discussions with lenders have begun.
The PPA signing is a key milestone for the Khoumagueli Solar project which will deliver reliable, affordable power to Guinea’s homes and businessesGilles Vaes InfraCo Africa’s CEO
“During these uncertain times, it is admirable that the teams involved have continued their work to achieve the signing of this important agreement. The signing demonstrates the ongoing commitment of EDG and the Government of Guinea to developing the country’s clean energy sector,” added Vaes.
The solar energy system will complement an existing hydro power generation plant. The commissioning of the solar plant could result in a 20% improvement in Garafiri’s efficiency and will also minimise any disruptions to supply caused by a planned programme of refurbishments at the hydro plant.
The combination of hydro and solar energy will help in maximising delivery of renewable energy to the national grid. The Khoumagueli Solar plant is expected to mitigate against the impact of fluctuating rainfall on hydro power generation at the Garafiri plant.
“The Khoumagueli Solar project contributes to the energy transition on the African continent. It combines photovoltaic solar energy with hydroelectricity produced in Guinea, reduces the need for thermal energy and reduces the cost of electricity,” said Jean-Marc Mateos, President of the Solveo Group.
Renewables to meet the rising energy demand in Guinea
Guinea’s has a national electrification rate of 35.4%. The West African country is looking to increase its electrification rate to meet its developmental goals, as well as diversify its energy mix. Guinea’s existing electricity supply is largely derived from hydro power which can be susceptible to seasonal fluctuations in rainfall. The demand for power is expected to rise sharply due to a forecast expansion of the country’s mining industry and economic growth.
The Government of Guinea has prioritised development of the energy sector as part of the country’s National Development Plan Economic and Social Council (2016-2020). The government is specifically seeking to exploit Guinea’s solar power potential in order to diversify the country’s energy mix and increase the availability and reliability of power.
As one of Guinea’s earliest renewable IPP initiatives, Khoumagueli has used grant funding secured from PIDG’s Technical Assistance (TA) and from ADEME (Agence De l’Environnement et de la Maitrise de l’Energie) to support work to build government capacity to undertake renewable energy projects with the private sector.