US OPIC commits to Senegal’s 158MW wind farm project

U.S government’s development finance institution, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and Lekela Power of Senegal have signed a commitment for the development, construction and operation of a 158 megawatt (MW) wind farm in Taiba N’Diaye, Senegal.

Offgridnigeria understands OPIC has committed $250 million in financing and $70 million in reinsurance to the project – Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye.

The deal it was gathered, was recently sealed on the side-lines of the U.S-African Business Forum in New York City.

It will as explained by OPIC’s President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield, advance the contributions of renewable energy to Senegal’s electricity supplies.

“This is a transformative project for many reasons, principally for the new and clean energy it will supply to Senegal. OPIC partnering with Lekela illustrates the opportunity for renewable resources to make a significant contribution to total energy needs.

“OPIC is proud to support the Taiba wind project and its role in advancing Senegal’s economic prosperity,” Littlefield said in a statement from OPIC.

The statement also quoted Lekela’s CEO, Chris Antonopoulos to have said: “Energy is critical to the African continent and its continued growth. Lekela is uniquely positioned as a long term investor to provide clean, secure, reliable and competitive renewable energy in Senegal and across Africa.”

The project is expected to increase Senegal’s available installed power capacity by 24 per cent.

Senegal reportedly suffers from a chronic deficit in electricity supply with regular power rationing and blackouts that adversely affect living conditions and economic development.

Also, the cost of electricity in Senegal is high because nearly 90 per cent of its electricity is currently generated using costly oil-based fossil fuel.