Alfateh Project, the first wind energy project in Libya (60 MW)

The wind farm project consists of wind turbines for producing electricity by wind energy power of 60 Megawatt, control equipments, electric transformers, operation and maintenance building, electric lines, service roads, control rooms and workshops.
The wind farm is executed by the Spanish Amtors Company, it will take period of 20 months and it aims at using various resources of energy in Libya in addition to contribute in covering part of electricity demand and in the sustainable development.

The cost of the project is about (180) million L.D. Better late than never as Libya hopes to reach its goal of generating 10% of renewable energy by 2020, while currently at less than 1%.

Mohamed Ekhlat, from the Renewable Energy Authority of Libya (REAOL), said at the MENASOL conference held in Cairo from May 4-5 that Libya recognized the importance of renewable energy for the country although it was one of the largest oil producers on the African continent.

He said that by 2015, Libya anticipated having several wind farms generating around 500 MW with its overall target to produce 1,000 MW of wind energy by 2020.

Such projects include wind farms in Dernah (120 MW in two stages); Al Maqrun (240 MW in two stages); western region wind farms at Meslata, Tarhuna, and Asabap (250 MW); southeastern region wind farms at Gallo, Almasarra, Alkofra, Tazrbo (120 MW); and southwestern region wind farms at Aliofra, Sabha, Gatt, and Ashwairef (120 MW).

In addition, Libya is getting ready to select a manufacturer for Photovoltaic plants that will be located in three locations with each location producing 15 MW of power each.

Ekhlat said that Libya is working to expand PV technology to remote areas. The North African country is also looking into adding 1,000 PV rooftop systems for residential areas with a feasibility study for a Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plant reportedly underway.

Libya is also developing a JV with local and foreign investors for the manufacturing of solar water heaters for the domestic and export markets hoping to reach 40,000 units a year.

However, in a country report released in December 2009 by the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE), it was said that these goals might take longer to reach than REAOL’s goal of 2012.

The report said, “Unfortunately, these targets and strategy for renewable energy in Libya do not seem to be fully shared among all participants, despite the approval of the target by the Cabinet. One reason seems to be that the targets and strategy have not been developed from any comprehensive analytical work. This lack of consensus means that the programs and targets of REAOL may not in fact be realized on the time-scale envisaged.”