Niger has announced the list of prequalified bidders for the design, financing, construction, and operation of a grid-connected solar PV plant with a capacity of approximately 50 MWac. The solar energy plant will be located in Gorou Banda, on the outskirts of the capital city of Niamey.
The Six firms and consortia were selected out of 14 candidates include:
- Scatec ASA
- GreenYellow SA
- Voltalia SA
- Nareva Holding
- Elsewedy Electric SAE
- Infinity Power Holding
The solar energy facility will increase Niger’s power generation capacity by 20% and improve its electrification rate which is currently standing at 15%. The system will also help the West African country reduce its electricity import bill as the country currently supplements some of its power needs through electricity imports from neighbouring Nigeria.
The solar plant will also increase the share of renewables in the country’s energy mix. Presently the country has an installed PV capacity of around 27 MW as of 2020, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The country aims to have renewables constitute 30 percent of its power generation capacity by 2035.
World Bank’s Scaling Solar program’s assistance to Niger
Niger’s Ministry of Petroleum, Energy and Renewable Energy launched the tender for the solar project in September last year under the World Bank Group’s Scaling Solar program. The tender had the backing of the French Development Agency and the European Union.
The Central African nation joined the World Bank’s Scaling Solar initiative in June 2021. The Scaling Solar initiative brings together a suite of World Bank Group services under a single engagement aimed at creating viable markets for solar power in each client country. The “one-stop shop” program aims to make privately funded grid-connected solar projects operational within two years, and at competitive tariffs.
The World Bank says the initiative will create a new regional market for solar investment when implemented across multiple countries.