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Lekela inaugurates first wind farm in West Africa

PETN will provide power for more than two million people. (Image source: Pexels/Pixabay)

Lekela, renewable power generation company that delivers utility-scale projects across Africa, has celebrated the inauguration of its flagship Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye (PETN) project in Senegal and groundbreaking on the 250MW West Bakr Wind project in Egypt

The inauguration of PETN marks the official opening of a wind farm that will provide power for more than two million people. As West Africa’s first utility-scale wind farm, PETN consists of 46 Vestas wind turbines producing 158.7MW. The first phase is now producing electricity, with 16 wind turbines generating up to 50MW. Once fully complete later in 2020, PETN will provide 15 per cent uplift to Senegal’s generation capacity. The project will generate electricity for Senegal for two decades.

In Egypt, groundbreaking on the 250MW West Bakr Wind project marks the start of construction for the project. To celebrate, an event was held at Cairo's new administrative capital and attended by Lekela stakeholders and partners, including the minister of electricity and renewable energy, the minister of environment and the minister of planning.

Additionally, senior government executives from the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC), the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) and the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) attended.

Located 30km north-west of Ras Ghareb, West Bakr Wind is part of the government’s ‘build, own, operate’ (BOO) scheme. It will provide an additional 250MW of clean energy to the grid, increasing Egypt’s wind energy capacity as the country strives to meet its target of generating 20 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2022.

The project will prevent more than 550,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

The West Bakr Wind and PETN are deploying 20-year community investment plans in their local areas. These are designed to address pressing socio-economic development challenges and ensure sustained improvements for communities, even after the end of wind farm operations in the future.

At West Bakr Wind, for example, migrating birds will be protected through the development of a “shut down on demand” programme. At PETN, two new marketplaces have been constructed and a new IT centre has been built for local schoolchildren. The plan of socio-economic investments at PETN is estimated to contribute up to US$20mn over the lifetime of the wind farm.

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