The Seychelles Energy Commission (SEC) and its partners, the Clinton Foundation and the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF), announced the SEC issued the Notice of Effective Award to Quadran (Seychelles) Ltd. for a 4-MW marine floating solar photovoltaic (FPV) power plant.

The Notice of Intended Award (NOIA) was issued in December 2019, and the project has now reached the milestone of the binding Notice of Effective Award (NOEA) based on Quadran completing required steps as per the NOIA.

This innovative project is expected to be the first utility-scale marine FPV power plant in Africa, a significant technology development for island nations and other land-constrained economies. These projects are usually located in freshwater lakes or reservoirs rather than seawater. In contrast, Seychelles’ project is located in a marine lagoon in Providence, Mahe, and will be designed to manage the additional risks posed by the saline environment, significant tidal fluctuations, and currents.

The project is also Seychelles’ first Independent Power Producer (IPP), meaning the private sector will be responsible for designing, financing, building, and operating the power plant, selling electricity to the national grid at a predetermined price for 25 years. Quadran’s winning bid was 9.5 USc per kWh, which represents a significant discount to the current cost of generation in Seychelles. The Power Purchase Agreement is scheduled to be signed in the next few months, with construction starting soon thereafter.

Seychelles relies primarily on imported diesel for electricity generation, resulting in expensive electricity tariffs and a high carbon footprint for the energy sector. The nation has ambitious renewable energy targets, however, and the Seychelles Energy Commission has been leading deployment and promotion of renewable energy. With support from Government of Seychelles, UNDP and Global Environment Facility (GEF) the Seychelles Energy Commission implemented a project for the development of grid-connected, roof-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. “From 2014, we have seen a steady growth of distributed PV systems on rooves across the 3 main islands of the Seychelles. However, roof-top PV installations alone will not be sufficient to meet our renewable energy target. We had to look at utility-scaled installations. The FPV is the first one and the first IPP for Seychelles. It is an innovative way of addressing our land constraint and demonstrates the country’s commitment to combat climate change.” said Tony Imaduwa, Chief Executive Officer of Seychelles Energy Commission.

At the direction of the Ministry of Energy, Environment and Climate Change (MEECC), the Seychelles Energy Commission is acting as the procuring entity. The project has been developed in close collaboration with other public stakeholders including MEECC, the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC), the Ministry of Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning (MoFTIEP), the Procurement Oversight Unit (POU) and the Attorney General’s office. The project is supported by the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation and the African Legal Support Forum (ALSF), with Trinity International LLP and Multiconsult Norge AS serving as the transaction and tender advisers.

“CCI and other project partners are thrilled to be supporting Seychelles in advancing this transformational project. Marine FPV will be an incredibly important technology for island nations, which typically have scarce land for ground-mounted solar PV power plants but excellent solar irradiation levels and significant marine territories. We work with island nations because they are highly vulnerable to climate change and are uniquely positioned to lead efforts for global climate action. This project is a fantastic example of an island spurring climate-smart technology innovation, and our island partners around the world are excited to see marine FPV implemented at scale,” said Fiona Wilson, Senior Regional Manager, Clinton Climate Initiative. The CCI has partnered with the Government of Seychelles since 2013 through its Islands Energy Program. CCI’s Islands Energy Program works with island nations in the Indian Ocean and Caribbean to accelerate their transition from fossil fuels to clean, resilient renewable energy systems.

“Innovation is instrumental to a sustainable and rapid development of the African energy sector. The African Legal Support Facility is hopeful that the Seychelles marine FPV project will provide further evidence that African states can turn towards green and innovative technologies to access affordable energy.” stated Gadi Taj Ndahumba, Head of the Power Sector at the ALSF. The ALSF, an international organization developed and hosted by the African Development Bank, provided support to SEC and PUC for the design and implementation of the project’s tender.

 

Source: AE Africa

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