By Andy Sambidge
New clean energy project will power more than 2,100 homes in holiday hotspot
Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company, and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) have launched a six-megawatt, eight-turbine wind farm in the Republic of Seychelles.
The Port Victoria Wind Farm accounts for eight percent of Mahé Island's energy capacity - the main island of Seychelles - which is home to 90 percent of the country's population.
The clean energy generated by this project - the first renewable energy project in the Seychelles - will displace 5,500 tons of carbon dioxide annually, Masdar said in a statement.
It added that the wind farm will power more than 2,100 homes and save 1.6 million litres of fuel per year. The project was developed by Masdar and funded by ADFD.
Seychelles currently relies on expensive diesel generators to meet its electricity demand. With fuel accounting for 25 percent of the country's total net imports, Seychelles is committed to diversifying its energy mix and reducing its reliance on fuel imports.
Being an island country, with limited options to produce electricity, wind power generation presents a viable solution to meet a national target of 15 percent energy from renewable sources by 2030.
"Access to sustainable, clean sources of energy is vital to our long-term economic development," said James Michel, president of the Republic of Seychelles.
"The addition of wind power is a major step toward meeting our clean energy targets and reducing our dependency on imported sources of power. We look forward to further opportunities to assess our wind power potential and continue to diversify our energy mix."
With the price of renewable energy technologies falling, wind and solar power are becoming economically viable solutions to improve energy security and access.
"The Seychelles wind project is an example of how access to energy can serve as a pathway for economic development and social opportunity," said Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and CEO of Masdar.
"In particular, for remote island nations, the integration of sustainable energy can deliver an immediate economic and tangible impact. Today, Seychelles can redirect fuel savings into investments in infrastructure development, social programs and to spurring economic growth.
"This project builds on Masdar's commitment to demonstrating the economic and environmental advantages of renewable energy," added Al Jaber.
Masdar is developing numerous other renewable energy projects including a 15-megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, a solar project in Afghanistan and a 500-kilowatt solar photovoltaic power plant on the island of Vava'u in the Kingdom of Tonga.For all the latest energy and oil news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.