Seychelles' energy department searches for locations for new large-scale solar farms
The project to install the PV system on La Digue school was a collaboration between the Seychelles government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). (Elke Talma
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles' energy department is looking for locations to install large-scale solar farms on Praslin and La Digue as part of the island nation's aim to achieve 15 percent renewable penetration by 2030.
The principal secretary for the Department of Energy, Tony Amaduwa, told SNA that feasibility studies are underway with regard to the project.
"We have plans to install utility-scale systems for Praslin and La Digue, where we have already identified potential sites, although we need to do our feasibility studies before any confirmation can be made," said Imaduwa.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, has invested in solar farms in recent years, with the largest so far located on Ile Romainville, a reclaimed island off the coast of Mahe, the main island.
The island nation recently signed an agreement with French energy company Qair for the installation of a 5-megawatt photovoltaic (PV) system in the lagoon at Providence on the eastern coast of Mahe.
"We want to install more such systems, having recently signed the agreement for the floating PV at Providence and now we want to maintain the momentum," added Imaduwa.
He explained that the government plans to make La Digue Island a fully 'green' island in terms of ecological sustainability and this installation will help towards that.
Since 2014, measures were being taken as part of the Seychelles 2020 vision to turn La Digue into the eco-capital of Seychelles.
Since then, various initiatives have been undertaken to transform the island, which has a population of around 2,900, into the country's eco-capital, including the introduction of clean energy vehicles.
These included electric golf carts on La Digue as part of a long-term plan of phasing out all fuel-dependent vehicles.
Until the arrival of golf carts, the island was a haven for bicycles and its famous ox-carts amid efforts to keep the island free from traffic congestion and noise, where only a few cars are allowed on the island.
La Digue is well-known for its tranquility among the tourists, whom the islanders rely heavily for their livelihood.
Imaduwa also explained that the department is continuing to look at new technologies and innovations in the renewable energy sector, which will help in achieving the country's targets.
"One issue that we face is in terms of storage capacity and we are monitoring developments in that area, which will benefit us," he added.