The Public Utilities Corporation (PUC), the company that provides public electricity service in Seychelles, has revealed that the Romainville solar photovoltaic plant will start supplying electricity in January 2020. It will have a 5 MWp capacity.
Some Seychelles households will be consuming clean energy by January 2020, thanks to a solar photovoltaic power plant that is currently under construction on the artificial island of Romainville, located off the main island of Mahé, only 2 km from the capital Victoria.
According to Public Utilities Corporation (PUC), the company that provides on-site electricity service, the work is progressing and is expected to be completed in early 2020 with the commissioning of the plant. It will consist of 14,850 solar panels capable of producing 5 MWp. The installation will also be connected to a battery storage system.
The purpose of storage is to allow the facility to provide electricity after sunset. The storage system will have a capacity of 3.3 MWh and will be installed in three containers. The Romainville solar power plant will be able to supply electricity to 2,000 households in the Seychelles. The PUC reports that it will provide free electricity to 400 low-income households.
However, free access only applies to households that “already benefit from the assistance of the Social Protection Agency, which provides comprehensive social security and assistance services to the most vulnerable,” says Tony Imaduwa, Director of the Seychelles Energy Commission. The PUC will allocate 300 kW to all 400 households. Beyond this quota, they will have to pay for their consumption.
The Romainville solar project will require a total investment of $10.2 million, funded by the PUC. The state-owned company is supported by loans from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD). “The power plant will also help Seychelles achieve the objectives of the 2015 Paris Agreement by reducing carbon dioxide emissions,” says Tony Imaduwa.
To implement the Paris Agreements, the Seychelles government has decided to reduce its fossil fuel consumption by 15% by 2030. With scattered islands, this archipelago mainly uses hydrocarbons to produce its electricity via small thermal power plants. These installations can be replaced by small solar photovoltaic power plants; and even floating ones for islands where there is a space problem.