Seychelles Launches Africa’s First Utility-Scale Floating Solar PV System

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Seychelles, a beautiful archipelago consists of 115 islands located in the Indian Ocean about 1,600 km east of Kenya, is tendering the right to develop, finance, own and operate a 4 Megawatt floating grid-connected solar PV plant in the Lagoon le Rocher. It will be the first utility-scale floating Solar PV Plant in Africa and one of the first on salt water in the world.

The tender will be implemented by the Seychelles Energy Commission (SEC), with the Public Utility Corporation (PUC) as the eventual off-taker of energy from the project. The tender process is supported by African Legal Support Facility (ALSF), an organisation hosted by the African Development Bank, and the Clinton Foundation. Trinity International and Multiconsult are serving as the transaction and tender advisors. The bidding process will be a sealed-bid, reverse auction with a separate pre-qualification stage. The Power Purchase Agreement is for a 20 year period.

Seychelles is extremely vulnerable to climate change. More recently it has been recorded as ‘slowly sinking’ due to rising sea levels. It has already seen the world’s worst coral die-off. Some believe the rising sea levels will put most of the archipelago underwater in 50 to 100 years, and leave the rest of the archipelago uninhabitable.

Due to the limited land area, salt water mounted Solar PV systems, along with wind power is the obvious renewable energy solution to offset the islands energy demand which is 97% dependent on diesel-burning generators for their power.

Water mounted Solar PV systems are typically specified for inland water reservoirs and dams due to the relative calm of the water. The solar array is either mounted on floats or fixed piled. Angled mounted panels on water tend to have higher output capacity due to reflective irradiation. Water mounted system also reduce water evaporation. The largest water mounted Solar PV System is 40 Megawatts, which floats on a manmade lake in China’s Anhui province near the city of Huainan, China.

A Project Information Brief will be held on 26th April 2018. The brief includes a site visit and networking event. If you would like to register your interest to tender, contact Mr. Ryan Glenn from Multiconsult: The registration deadline for the Session is 20th April 2018.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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