Lekela’s activities in Senegal are focused on the 158 megawatt Taiba N’Diaye Wind Power Project. This is a landmark project that provides much needed clean and economically priced energy into the rapidly expanding local grid system operated by Senelec. The project has successfully completed all its major development activities, entered into construction arrangements, signed financing documents and is ready to start construction.
The Project will be the first utility-scale wind power project in Senegal, and it aligns with the Government of Senegal’s strategy of increasing clean electricity production and diversifying Senegal’s energy mix. The Project is also expected to help reduce the cost of electricity generation in Senegal, which has one of the highest generation costs in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The project will consist of 46 Vestas V136 wind turbines that can produce 3.45 megawatts each. The wind turbines received type certification in January 2017 and are some of the latest versions of onshore wind turbines available currently, building on Vestas’ proven wind turbine technology. They utilise a 117m tubular steel tower and a blade length of 61.7m giving a very large swept area of 12,469 m2 allowing the wind turbines to maximise the amount of energy captured from the wind.
It will be built and commissioned by Vestas under a turnkey engineering, procurement and construction contract in three phases over 24 months with first power expected to be generated at the end of 2018. As part of the works for the project, the local Tobene substation which is owned and operated by Senelec will be upgraded to enable it to accept power from the wind farm.
The wind farm has undertaken a wide-ranging environmental and social impact assessment and will be built and operated to world class performance standards. The project will provide opportunities for employment locally. It is estimated that at the peak of the construction phase approximately 385 workers will be onsite.
The project benefits from strong local community support with the community having been very much involved throughout the project’s development phase. The wind farm and local community will implement an extensive social investment programme in and around Taiba N’Diaye focusing on creating sustainable livelihoods for communities by improving agriculture and providing vocational training opportunities for youth. It is estimated that over the life of the project such investments will total around US$20m.
Several early community projects have already been planned including revamping of the local market to provide a safe trading environment for the local women traders as well as developing a computer laboratory for the local high school.