Seychelles edges closer to realizing floating solar energy project
Implementation of Africa’s first independent power producer floating solar photovoltaic (FPV) project is continuing in the Seychelles.
The project, launched by the Seychelles Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change and the Seychelles Energy Commission, will be the first utility-scale, private-sector funded floating solar project in Africa, and aims to support the country’s transition to renewable energy.
The project is being implemented by the Government of Seychelles and the Public Utilities Corporation with the support of the African Legal Support Facility and the Clinton Foundation, with Trinity International LLP and Multiconsult Norge AS serving as the transaction and tender advisers.
The floating solar power plant will be located in Providence lagoon on Mahé Island and will have an estimated capacity between 3.5 – 4 MWAC.
This month, the request for proposals process was launched to a group of pre-qualified bidders and joint ventures who were selected last year as part of the first phase of procurement.
With this process opening, this clean energy project moves another step closer to full implementation. Bidders are required to submit their full technical and financial proposals in September 2019, with an expected tender award in November 2019. Construction is expected to start soon thereafter, with the project becoming operational in 2020.
“We at the Clinton Climate Initiative are thrilled to support this innovative project, which represents a groundbreaking step forward for island nations and other regions with limited land available for solar development. Floating solar photovoltaic energy holds immense potential for islands, and our partners in Seychelles are demonstrating true leadership in addressing the global climate and energy crisis.” – Fiona Wilson, Senior Regional Manager, Clinton Climate Initiative.
“This will be a landmark project for Seychelles. The project not only injects green energy into the grid but also exemplifies the country’s commitment and will in transforming its energy sector to a low-carbon one,” said Tony Imaduwa, CEO of Seychelles Energy Commission.
Last week the Government of Seychelles hosted a pre-bid meeting and site visit for pre-qualified bidders to brief them on the tender process, site and build area. The pre-qualified bidders were able to view the lagoon and related sites in person, network with local contractors, and pose questions for clarification to the project team. Photos from this meeting can be accessed here (link is external).
During the next phase of the project, the bidders will prepare technical and financial proposals. These pre-qualified bidders include Building Energy South Africa Ltd, Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios SA, Générale du Solaire and Total Eren, GreenYellow SAS and Voltas Ecobiotech Ltd, Masdar, Quadran (Seychelles) Ltd and Vetiver Tech, Scatec Solar ASA, and Solar Philippines and Corex Solar.
Bidders will have more than three months to prepare their full proposals in line with the requirements of the request for proposals.
The proposals will be evaluated against a set of technical and financial criteria, and the best-evaluated bidder will be selected to finance, design, build, own, and operate the plant. Electricity generated from the plant will be sold to the Public Utilities Corporation at a fixed tariff under a power purchase agreement with a 25-year duration.
When fully constructed and operational, this innovative project will be the first utility-scale, private-sector funded floating solar plant in Africa, and Seychelles’ first independent power producer, drawing international expertise and capital to both transfer knowledge to the local energy sector and accelerate Seychelles’ transition to renewable energy.
The plant will also be the first utility-scale floating solar project in a marine environment worldwide, paving the way for further marine projects, a crucial opportunity for island nations and other land-scarce energy systems.