Seychelles inaugurates 5 MW solar farm, financed with ADFD loan
The solar farm was officially inaugurated on Seychelles' man-made island, Ile de Romainville, on Monday. (Jude Morel)
A 5-megawatt solar PV farm was officially inaugurated on Seychelles' man-made island, Ile de Romainville, on Monday and this is expected to help the island nation achieve its target of 15 percent renewable energy by 2030, said a top official.
The commemorative plaque was unveiled by Seychelles' Vice-President Ahmed Afif and the deputy director general of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), Khalifa Abdulla Al Qubaisi.
In his address, the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Energy, Flavien Joubert, said that the inauguration is a milestone for Seychelles towards achieving 15 percent renewable penetration by 2030 and the greater vision of hitting net-zero emissions by 2050.
|The commemorative plaque was unveiled by Vice-President Afif and the deputy director general of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), Al Qubaisi. (Jude Morel) Photo License: CC-BY|
"The 5 MW PV Farm not only illustrates our commitment and effort in transforming our energy system to keep global warming below 1.5°C, but it is an excellent demonstration of the successful partnership between the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Masdar, PUC [Public Utilities Corporation], CES - the contractor, and the government of Seychelles," said Joubert.
Built on the southern half of the island, the farm comprises about 15,000 PV panels installed over an area of almost 50,000 square metres. It has been funded through a concessional loan of $8.5 million, payable at a 2 percent interest rate, from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD). The remaining $1.7 million is funded from PUC's own equity, bringing the project to a total of $10.2 million.
"Investment in renewable energy is meaningful in every sense of the word," said Al Qubaisi during his address, adding that "that renewable energy will continue to uphold the promise for future growth of the country."
Joubert said that the implementation of the 5 MW PV farm has not come about so easily for all parties, in particular, the contractor and the project management team.
|Since its commissioning, the solar farm has been generating the equivalent energy consumption of about 2,000 households every year. (Jude Morel) Photo License: CC-BY|
"Like many other projects happening at a similar period, its progression had to overcome some major obstacles. Setbacks such as those related to the COVID-19 pandemic, its associated impact on cargo deliveries and other factors that contributed to delays in the project completion had to be managed to keep the cost of the project within budget. For this, I give my sincere recognition and gratitude to the efforts made by CES, the PUC team and Masdar," he said.
The farm was commissioned in April 2021, a month after Seychelles reopened its borders to relaunch its tourism industry, which was severely affected by a downturn in travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since its commissioning, the solar farm has been generating the equivalent energy consumption of about 2,000 households every year through a generation of energy representing around 1.6 million litres of fuel consumption per year.
The minister said that this will reduce approximately 5,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year and although small, it makes a difference to PUC and to Seychelles in terms of cost savings and environmental protection.
The project is the second on the island that already has a 1-megawatt farm in operation with the aid of the Indian government.