UAE's Masdar says Mauritania solar project 50% completed

Abu Dhabi’s future energy company is building a 16.6MW solar power plant network in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania
UAE's Masdar says Mauritania solar project 50% completed
By Staff writer
Sun 21 Aug 2016 12:53 PM

Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s future energy company, has announced that it had passed the halfway mark in its project to construct a 16.6MW solar power plant network in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.

Masdar broke ground on the project in December and when complete, the network of eight solar power plants will almost double the UAE’s contribution to Mauritania’s renewable energy capacity to a total of 31.6MW. 

The plants will supply 30 percent of the electricity demand to the remote communities of Boutilimit, Aleg, Aioune, Akjoujt, Atar, El Chami, Boulenour and Bani Chab, reducing their dependency on diesel-fuelled generators, decreasing annual fuel costs and lowering carbon dioxide emissions.

None of these communities are currently connected to the national grid, Masdar said in a statement.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, said: “Delivery of this innovative network will bring electricity to thousands of families for the first time, changing their lives for the better and further enabling socio-economic development.”

Mauritanian national electricity provider Société Mauritanienne d’electricité (SOMELEC) selected Masdar as the preferred partner for the project based on the successful delivery of the 15MW Sheikh Zayed Solar Power Plant in the capital city of Nouakchott.

At the time of its completion in 2013, this plant was the largest solar power installation in Africa and Mauritania’s first utility-scale solar power project, accounting for more than 10 percent of the country’ grid-connected capacity.

The 11th largest country in the African continent, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania is one of several developing nations in the west of North Africa that seeks to increase the renewable energy share of the total energy mix.

The country is highly dependent on imported fossil fuels purchased on fixed term contracts to provide power for both transport and electricity generation.

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