The plant is expected to generate 51.7 GWh per year with the electricity sold to national utility Sonabel for CFA48/kWh ($0.08).
The cost of thermal power production in Burkina Faso is three times more expensive, at CFA130/kWh, Urbasolar said in statement. The project was developed and built as a public-private partnership between the government of Burkina Faso, Urbasolar and its Burkinabé partner PPS, the Montpellier-based developer added.
The project is part of a 155 MW solar pipeline the government wants to build with the help of independent electricity producers. “The power generation of these 155 MW will allow Sonabel to increase its capacity but also to buy … kilowatt [-hours] at CFA48, on average – a price well below the current cost produced from thermal power plants, which varies between CFA100 and CFA110/kWh,” the Ministry of Energy said a year ago, when the first projects were announced.
Another 30 MW facility is being planned by investment firm Naange in Kalzi, in the central region of the country, and two more 30 MW projects have been proposed by Africa-Ren and France’s Green Yellow, in Kodeni, in Houet province; and in the capital, Ouagadougou, respectively.
The government’s solar drive originally aimed to deploy 100 MW of generation facilities before being expanded to improve power supply in a country largely dependent on fossil fuels. The project pipeline also includes projects with capacities of 20 MW and 15 MW. Those projects are being developed by a consortium formed by France’s Quadran and Spain’s Soltech and Syscom, and will be deployed in Zano, in the Tenkodogo department of Boulgou province in southeastern Burkina Faso and in Boucle de Mouhoun, in the central region.
Burkina Faso had only 62 MW of installed PV capacity at the end of 2018, according to International Renewable Energy Agency figures.