Eight new rural solar energy projects are now operational across the Islamic Republic of Mauritania in western North Africa, doubling the UAE’s total contribution to the country’s clean energy capacity to 31.6 megawatts (MW).
Delivered by Masdar, the Abu Dhabi clean energy company, the 16.6MW of additional solar power will supply up to 30 percent of the electricity demand of the remote communities of Boutilimit, Aleg, Aioune, Akjoujt, Atar, El Chami, Boulenour and Bani Chab.
The projects were completed in collaboration with Mauritania’s national electricity provider, Société Mauritanienne d’Electricité (SOMELEC), a statement said.
Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, inaugurated the projects in the city of Atar, one of the sites of the eight photovoltaic power plants.
The eight new plants will increase local energy security by providing safe and reliable clean power to communities away from the national electricity grid.
Altogether the projects will power around 39,000 homes, save up to 10,391,000 litres of diesel fuel and displace up to 27,850 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and chairman of Masdar, said: “This inauguration is another landmark in the longstanding cooperation between the United Arab Emirates and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. The new solar plants reaffirm the UAE’s leadership commitment to diversifying and extending energy access across the globe in an effort to drive sustainable development.”
Masdar was selected as SOMELEC’s preferred partner following the successful delivery of the 15MW Sheikh Zayed Solar Power Plant in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott in 2013, the first solar project in the country.
As the eleventh largest country in Africa, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania is working to diversify its energy production through the adoption of renewables, reducing expenditure on imported fossil fuels.
Masdar said it has around 2.7GW of clean energy assets either in operation or under development worldwide.