Work has started on seven solar photovoltaic projects in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, with a total capacity of 12 megawatts, as part of a deal with Abu Dhabi-based clean energy firm Masdar.
The projects are Masdar's second initiative in Mauritania, and focuses on clean energy generation and distribution in remote areas.
It said in a statement that the seven power plants will, on average, meet 30 percent of electricity demand for each of the towns in which they are being developed.
To be built in Boutilimit, Aleg, Aioune, Akjoujt, Atar, Al Shami and Boulenour, three of the plants will each have 1MW capacity, while three others will be 2MW, and a third 3MW.
Consolidated Contractors Company has been awarded the construction tender and completion of the projects is expected in the fourth quarter next year.
Dr Ahmad Belhoul, CEO of Masdar, said: "We know that the renewable energy market is rapidly growing across the globe, and because innovative and ever-evolving technologies are increasingly injecting impetus to the commercial viability of clean energy, we are confident that these PV plants will further serve as testament to the tremendous social impact that Masdar's global renewable energy projects are facilitating.
"Solar energy solutions provide extraordinary opportunities to address Mauritania's growing energy needs economically and efficiently, while simultaneously improving access to energy and security of supply."
Mohamed Salem Ould Bechir, Mauritania's Minister of Petroleum, Energy and Mines, added: "This project goes a long way towards accelerating the deployment of renewable energy and shifting Mauritania's reliance on fossilised fuel for electricity.
"In addition, the projects not only further advance the country's position for faster adoption of renewable energy solutions that will contribute towards a diversified energy sector, but it is also a positive step in natural resources conservation and, very importantly, climate protection - which is a pressing issue for the whole world right now."
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