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Masdar halfway through the construction of a solar power plant network in Mauritania

Country is purportedly seeking to provide remote communities with electricity while diversifying its energy mix.

| | Aug 30, 2016 | 7:43 am
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Abu Dhabi, UAE: After breaking ground last December to construct a 16.6 MW solar power plant network in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Masdar has announced that it has passed the halfway mark in its project. When complete, the network of eight solar power plants, the announcement said, will almost double the United Arab Emirates’ contribution to Mauritania’s renewable energy capacity to a total of 31.6 MW.

The announcement revealed that the plants will supply 30% of the electricity demand to the remote communities of Boutilimit, Aleg, Aioune, Akjoujt, Atar, El Chami, Boulenour and Bani Chab, reducing their dependency on diesel-fuelled generators, decreasing annual fuel costs and lowering carbon dioxide emissions. It added that none of the stated communities are currently connected to the national grid.

The 11th largest country in the African continent, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, the announcement said, is one of the several developing nations in the west of North Africa that seeks to increase the renewable energy share of the total energy mix.

Masdar highlighted that it was chosen as the preferred partner for the project by the Mauritanian national electricity provider, Société Mauritanienne d’electricité (SOMELEC), based on the successful delivery of the 15 MW Sheikh Zayed Solar Power Plant in the country’s capital city of Nouakchott. At the time of its completion in 2013, the plant, the company said, was reportedly the largest solar power installation in Africa, and Mauritania’s first utility-scale solar power project, accounting for more than 10% of the country’ grid-connected capacity.

“Masdar operates across the whole clean energy chain, from developing utility-scale projects to deploying off-grid solutions,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar. “In Mauritania, we are executing a project, furthering the UAE’s historic role as a supporter of clean energy access around the globe. Delivery of this innovative network will bring electricity to thousands of families for the first time, changing their lives for the better and further enabling socio-economic development.”

Khaled Ballaith, Director of Masdar Special Projects, added: “By working in remote locations like Afghanistan and the Pacific Islands, our team has acquired vast expertise in deploying small-scale off-grid solutions to communities without access to secure energy. Our capacity for efficient delivery under challenging conditions is the reason why we were assigned this project in Mauritania. Coupling innovative project management strategies with cutting edge technology has ensured we can deliver clean energy to these communities.”

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