Tunisia partners Qair for development of country’s first floating solar plant

TUNISIA – Tunisia has partnered with French based energy company Qair in the development of a floating solar power plant.

According to an Africa Energy Portal report, upon successful completion, the solar power plant will be the first of its kind in Tunisia.

Specifically, the agreement for the construction of the solar power plant was made between the French Independent Power Producer (IPP) Qair (formerly Quadran International)and the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (STEG).

 The floating solar photovoltaic power plant is expected to have a capacity of 200 kWp and will be built in the Berges du Lac district of Tunis on the Lake Banks.

According to Africa Energy Portal funding for the project will be made available by Tunisia’s private sector development fund (FASEP).

The Tunisian Ministry of Energy, Mines and Energy Transition will on the other hand, be charged with the responsibility of supervising the project.

The Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (STEG) announced that works on the floating solar photovoltaic power plant will start before the end of the year 2020.

The floating photovoltaic plant is expected to be commissioned on the Lake Banks by the end of 2021, which is the same year Qair is expected to begin construction on a 10 MWp ground-mounted solar power plant in the governorate of Kasserine in central-western Tunisia.

Renewable energies, especially solar, have significant potential in Tunisia.

The country boasts annual irradiation rates of approximately 1800 to 2600 KWh per square metre, over 20% more than the most irradiated sites in Europe.

Today, over 90% of electricity is still generated through fossil fuels with renewables only contributing a small fraction of the country’s total electricity needs.

Tunisia has however, taken some positive actions toward increasing energy autonomy and promoting renewable energies.

In May 2015 Parliament passed Law No. 12, known as the New Law, concerning electricity production from renewable sources.

The New Law aims to boost private sector investments and liberalise regulations to facilitate the production, network access and export of electricity generated by renewables.

Tunisia in its quest to enhance development of green energy joined the International Solar Alliance this year.

Joining the ISA would be a major boost to Tunisia even as it prepares to launch major projects in the fields of photovoltaic solar energy and wind power, the aim being to reduce its fossil fuel energy consumption by 30% by 2030.

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