Construction has started on a new solar power plant in Pâ, 250 kilometers west of Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou, that will generate 33 megawatts of power. Prime Minister Christophe Dabiré launched the project on Sunday, February 1.
This will be Burkina Faso’s second solar power plant, after Zagtouli, built in 2017. Zagtouli is currently undergoing improvements to increase its output from 33 to 55 megawatts, bringing the total energy generation of the country up to 630 megawatts per day.
Solar generation in Burkina Faso has doubled from 2015–2020, which has helped significantly in promoting greater electrification of the country, which currently only serves 45 percent of the population. Burkina Faso’s minister of energy Ismael Bachir Ouédraogo, speaking with Jeune Afrique, expressed his optimism that solar projects like these will help Burkina Faso reach its goal of generating 1,000 megawatts per day and help it break out of load-shedding cycles.
The project is a public-private partnership between Burkina Faso and Urbasolar, a French company specializing in photovoltaic engineering, working in tandem with a local partner, Projet Production Solaire. The plant is estimated to cost about €33 million, and will be financed by Urbasolar, the development financial institution Proparco, and the West African Development Bank.