Wind Power in Senegal: Plans to construct a 125MW wind farm

Senegal National Electricity Co., the state-owned utility, has the capacity to produce 634 megawatts of power, though output is currently only 548 megawatts due to ageing equipment. Energy demand in Senegal is growing at an average of 7 percent a year, Ndaw said, without providing consumption data.

Senegal’s Energy Ministry is in the midst of a decade-long drive to diversify its power sources away from petroleum products, according to its 2010 budget overview. The program lists a series of projects that are under way, including a 150 megawatt wind farm in northern Senegal, two 125 megawatt coal- fired facilities and a hydropower dam on the Senegal River shared with neighboring Mauritania, Guinea and Mali.

The petroleum product-importing nation also aims to meet 50 percent of its rural energy requirements by 2012, primarily through a set of contracts for solar power plants with Morocco’s state-owned Office National de l’Electricité, Ndaw said.

In mid-2003 the Government of Senegal asked the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) for support in the development of a 10 MW wind farm. The proposed location is on the coast between Dakar and St. Louis. The generated electricity is to be fed into the grid belonging to the national public utility company SENELEC. The lead executing agency for the project is the Direction de l’Energie (DE), a specialist department within the Ministry of Energy (Ministère de l’Energie).

Since July 2007, wind measurements have been conducted at two sites, Kayar and Potou, and have been backed up by training on technical and economic issues surrounding the use of wind energy.

In December 2008 the results of the wind measurements, taken over the period of a year, were presented at a workshop in Dakar. The Potou site, with an average annual wind speed of 6.4 m/s at a height of 70 m, yielded notably better results than the Kayar site, where the annual average wind speed was 5.8 m/s.

Initial estimates indicate that the site-specific energy generation costs in Potou are around €0.08 per kWh. The costs in Kayar are approximately €0.1 per kWh.

On the basis of these results, GTZ is planning to produce a feasibility study for the Potou site in collaboration with the Senegalese partner DE.

An ambitious wind farm power generation project will shortly be seeing the light of day at the Taïba Ndiaye site in Senegal.

The wind energy station will produce 125 Megawatts (MW), 15 percent of the electricity consumed in Senegal, with the cost of the project estimated at 200 million Euros.

While the date for the start of the work is not yet known, the project has been given the green light by the Senegalese authorities.

This will accordingly be the first wind farm in West Africa with financial returns estimated at 50 million FCFA (about 111,200 USD) per year.

The aim is to cover the country’s future energy needs while promoting sustained development and local energy sources.

Other similar projects are also currently under development across Senegal. Professor Abdoul Cader Bèye, teacher and researcher at the regional university centre of Bambey, has just announced a project for the establishment of the first pilot plant for the production of solar energy.

On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH supports the Direction de l’Energie within the Ministry of Energy and Mines in Senegal to support the development of a 10 MW wind energy park.

Preferred location of the proposed wind tyrbines is on the coast-line between Dakar and St. Louis. GTZ activities will comprise advice in site selection and wind measurement evaluation. In case there are favourite wind power conditions for an economical operation of a wind farm, feasibility studies may be undertaken. In addition, capacity building in form of on-the-job training and workshops are envisaged.

The activities are carried out within the framework of the GTZ TERNA Wind Energy Programme (