Inauguration of the wind farm in Senegal: a successful energy challenge
The Taïba Ndiaye wind farm (TNWF) is a first wind farm in West Africa in terms of its capacity that situated in Senegal that 100 kilometres from north of Dakar. The farm is connected to the national electricity grid and has provided electricity since December 2019. Despite the fact that the farm encountered financial constraints during ten years of the realization of the project, it has finally become a reality and will give people access to clean energy.
TNWF in figures
The total installation cost of the wind farm was estimated at more than 340 million euros. The entire park built on an area that covers 40 hectares must supply 15% of additional electricity to the national grid by using 46 wind turbines that will be installed until June 2020. The park produces 50 Megawatts of electricity with 16 wind turbines already exploited in operation. It must evolve providing 158 Megawatts of electricity in total, owing to the size and capacity of the installed wind turbines.
The park is managed by the company Lekela Power Senegal and financed by the United States and Denmark. The company has a 20-year sales contract for electricity production with the National Electricity Company (Sénélec).
TNWF’s environmental objectives
The park is engaged in the objectives of the country’s energy transition with an ambition of 415 Gigawatt hours of expected annual production in order to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, supply clean, low-carbon energy and fight against the impacts of climate change. Approximately 300,000 tons of CO2 will be avoided annually.
Moreover, energy production should make it possible to supply and to ensure access to electricity for 150,000 households (approximately two million people). Thereby, diversifying the sources of energy in the energy mix. The park aims to increase the share of renewable energies in the national energy mix by approximately 20% or 30%. Additionally, it will significantly reduce the carbon footprint and electricity costs in the country.
The expected socio-economic impacts of TNWF
The PETN, along with its energy objective, must contribute to the social development of the local population and the creation of economic activities in order to reduce the effects of the expropriation of local agricultural lands.
The project promoters are planning to provide technical training for 40 young people selected within the framework of this socio-economic development policy in the appropriate training centres in the sector. This training will be undertaken for the preparation of skilled specialists for working in the park and will contribute to the creation of available jobs in the sector. The project will be equally accompanied by the development of local infrastructure which will be financed throughout the operation of the TNWF.
According to Massaer Cissé, Director General of LEKELA Senegal, the project has enabled the construction of the centre for commercial activities for the local women and the computer centre for children in school.
However, despite all these expected positive effects, the implementation of the project is highly criticized by the local population. They don’t foresee positive outcomes in the park construction, considering itself stripped of their agricultural land without being adequately compensated.
This lack of interest and social acceptance often characterizes most projects in the necessity of the energy transition in Africa. Due to the climate emergency and the energy transition objectives, it is obvious that the realization of these projects ensures the genuine participation of the population from its conception until the implementation.