African renewable power generation company, Lekela, has announced the inauguration of the first phase of its 159MW Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye wind project in Senegal, with 16 out of 46 Vestas turbines now generating up to 50MW.
Once complete in 2020, the wind farm – which forms part of Plan Senegal Emergent, the government’s economic development accelerator program –will contribute 15% to Senegal’s generation capacity.
“To be able to open the first-ever large-scale wind farm in West Africa is a historic moment for Senegal. This clean, cheap source of energy will be used by millions of people and hopefully sets a template for other countries to follow,” Antonopoulos stated.
The company, meanwhile, has also started construction of its 250MW West Bakr wind farm project, located in Egypt’s side of the Gulf of Suez. The project – which secured financial close last year – is expected to be fully operational by 2021 and will produce over 1,000 GW/h per year.
“We are thrilled to begin construction at West Bakr, which marks our first project with the Egyptian government. We look forward to opening this project in less than two years’ time and working with the Government on more opportunities in the future,” Chief Executive Chris Antonopoulos said at the sod turning ceremony on Tuesday.
The wind farm, which is located 30km north-west of the town of Ras el Ghareb, will use Siemens Gamesa turbines and operate under a power purchase agreement with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company.