Seychelles is in the final stages of negotiation of two project agreements for the installation of a 5-megawatt photovoltaic panel in the Providence Lagoons, which will be the country’s first independent power producer (IPP) project, said a top official.
The principal secretary for climate change and energy, Tony Imaduwa, told SNA that there are two agreements pertaining to the project. One is the power purchase agreement (PPA) which governs the commercial arrangement between the buyer (PUC) and seller (Qair- the IPP) as well as providing for various risk mitigation measures associated with the project. The second is the government support agreement.
Qair, a French developer, has been selected to develop the largest floating solar power plant.
“Once we finalised these, we can proceed with the signature and then the construction phase of the project,” said Imaduwa.
Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, announced its plan to install the utility-scale floating solar photovoltaic (PV) system in April 2018.
A call for proposals for the project, which is considered as the installation of Africa’s first utility-scale floating solar photovoltaic, was made in May 2019. Since then, negotiations have been ongoing.
“For the finalisation of the project’s agreements, all parties need to agree on the terms and conditions of these agreements. The legal challenges are that being an innovative project and a first for Seychelles in many aspects, there are legal gaps which we need to address. There are also technical challenges mostly related to the design of the plant, its interconnection and integration to the national grid,” explained Imaduwa.
Imaduwa said he expects to have the project commissioned towards the end of 2023.
When the project is completed and the floating panel is up and running, the electricity generated from the plant will be sold to the Seychelles’ Public Utility Corporation (PUC) at a fixed tariff under a power purchase agreement (PPA) with a 25-year duration.
The energy from the new project is expected to equate to 1.6 percent of the Seychelles’ energy target set for 2030 in which the island nation is aiming to reduce consumption of fossil fuels by 15 percent.