Seychelles’ wind power project set to begin


07-January-2012

The project is being implemented by Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy firm, Masdar, on two designated sites in the vicinity of Port Victoria, which were selected after a feasibility study was undertaken by Masdar and the Government of Seychelles.

This is the culmination of a collaborative agreement signed by the two parties when President James Michel visited Abu Dhabi in January 2009.

In October 2011, during the event to mark the opening of the Seychelles embassy in Abu Dhabi, the President expressed his satisfaction with the progress of the wind energy project which is being built to provide clean energy for the inhabitants of Mahé island.
 
“We need to gradually remove our dependence on fossil fuels, as we aim to conserve our reputation as one of the most environmentally-friendly nations in the world. We will start with wind energy and then encourage the development of solar energy farms, which are commercially viable and provide investment opportunities for Seychellois, as well as foreign investors”.

Minister Joel Morgan, the minister with portfolio responsibility for energy in Seychelles, said: “Renewable energy is key to the future sustainable development of our country.

 It provides for the economic possibility of becoming less dependent on fossil fuels while helping to reduce our carbon footprint through a reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions from power production.  This project is our first major step into power production from renewable sources and we are very grateful that the Abu Dhabi Fund and MASDAR are helping Seychelles to move to a greater degree of energy independence”.

The Engineering Procurement and Construction contract for the 6 MW wind farm has been awarded to South Korean wind-power generation equipment manufacturer, Unison Company. There will be eight wind turbines of 750kW each -- five on Ile de Romainville and three on the southern tip of Ile du Port.

Seychelles is currently almost entirely dependent on imported fossil fuel for its energy supply.  The Seychelles Energy Policy 2010-2030 sets a target of 15% contribution of renewable energy to the final energy supply mix by 2030.
 
The aim of this project is to contribute towards achieving this target, it intends to meet 2% of the island’s electrical energy needs and furthermore, to lower the island’s carbon footprint by reducing hydrocarbon-based power generation. The Seychelles requires 350GWh electrical energy per year and the wind farm is expect to produce 7GWh of energy annually.
 
The project is made possible with a grant from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and will cost an estimated USD28 million. Masdar will deliver the project to the Government of the Seychelles on behalf of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development; it will be assisted by a Project Implementation Unit which has been established by the Government of Seychelles. The project adheres to the highest environmental standards, given the valuable ecological status of the country.
 
For the first two years Unison will operate the wind farm in collaboration with the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC), the Seychelles public utility company, as part of a progressive hand-over. Unison will train relevant staff members of PUC for that period after which PUC will fully operate the farm.

As part of its mandate, Masdar is leveraging its renewable energy experience to help developing countries, building on the strong relations between the Abu Dhabi and Seychelles governments.

 

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