IPPToday #256: Largest wind farm in West Africa reaches financial close
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Lekela has announced that it has successfully reached financial close on the Taiba N’Diaye wind power project in Senegal. This will deliver the country's first utility-scale wind farm and the largest wind farm in West Africa, with a generation capacity of 158.7 MW.
Situated 70km north of Dakar, the project will consist of 46 Vestas 3.45 MW wind turbines. Once the wind farm is fully operational, expected within the next two years, it will produce electricity equivalent to 15% of Senegal's current energy supply.
The financing secured includes a 17-year EUR140 million (US$163.6 million) export loan from EKF, Denmark’s Export Credit Agency. This helped to ensure that Danish Vestas received the order for the wind turbines, as well as the construction and maintenance of the park.
The US Government has also made significant contributions to the project, with financing provided by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US development finance institution, and additional support from Power Africa, an initiative of the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
Furthermore, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) of the World Bank provided political risk insurance to the financiers.
With financial close achieved, construction is set to commence shortly. The wind farm will provide over 450,000 MWh of energy per year for over two million people and save over 300,000 tonnes of CO2 emission into the atmosphere per year.
As well as the development of the wind farm, the project involves an extensive social investment programme in Taiba N’Diaye, expected to contribute up to US$20 million to the local community over its lifetime.