The announcement was made public on Monday, April 16 2018, by the Director of the Seychelles Energy Commission. These solar power plants built on water are the very first in Africa, because they will be built on the sea.
The floating photovoltaic system will be installed in the “Rock Lagoon” in the Mamelles District and should be completed by 2020. According to Energy Commission Director Tony Imaduwa, this photovoltaic system will introduce clean, green energy into the electricity system across the country. “This should contribute 5.8 Gigawatts per year. This initiative will also help reduce fossil fuel imports, resulting in currency savings for the country,” said director Tony Imaduwa. He later added that this project will be a source of employment for the people of the Seychelles. “This will provide green jobs during implementation. The construction phase will also provide opportunities for local businesses.”
Seychelles has set itself the target of producing 15% of national energy demand from renewable resources by 2030. So far, “with all the renewable energy projects undertaken, we have only reached the first 5%. Therefore, we must work to achieve the extra 10% by 2030,” said Imaduwa. According to him, this project will make it possible to still gain 1% of renewable energy in the energy mix of Seychelles.
A project that hides others
Seychelles will also install the first solar ice plant in the country. Solar ice is made in two stages: during the day, the solar collector generates steam which is transformed into water by the condenser. At night, this water rises into the sensor generating enough cold to create ice in the storage tank. Solar ice can be used to make 100% environmentally friendly refrigerators.
This plant will be the first site that will result from the installation of solar photovoltaic panels. According to Seychelles News Agency, “It will improve working conditions for fishermen in Bel Ombre (Seychelles District of Mahé Island) and enhance safety in Seychelles’s largest artisanal fishing port”.
Also in line with the construction of this photovoltaic plant, an agreement was signed between the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Energy and the Chinese Department of the National Development Commission on Climate Change Reform. It plans to set up a second solar photovoltaic system on Curieuse Island in the Seychelles, the second most populated island in the archipelago. Under the terms of the agreement, China will provide $4.3 million to enable Seychelles to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.