Ivory Coast bets on solar as part of renewables drive

By Loucoumane Coulibaly

BOUNDIALI, Ivory Coast (Reuters) – Ivory Coast officially opened a 37.5 megawatt (MW) solar power plant on Wednesday in what the government said was the first step of a plan to integrate more renewable energy into the power sector.

Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer, is seeking to become a major power supplier in West Africa.

It produces most of its roughly 2,250 MW of power from oil and gas and already exports electricity to Ghana, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo and Mali.

By 2030, the country wants 45% of its energy mix to consist of renewable energy.

“This is our country’s first step in its transitional march towards clean energy,” said Minister for Mines, Power and Electricity Mamadou Sangafowa Coulibaly during the ceremony in the northern town of Boundiali.

He said Ivory Coast will have added 678 MW from solar power plants projects to its power network by 2030.

The state-owned Boundiali Solar Power Plant, located about 660 km (410 miles) north of the commercial capital Abidjan, became operational in June 2023. Authorities hope to extend its capacity to 83 MW from its current 37.5 MW by April 2025.

The expansion, which could cost 35.6 millions euros, will be supported by financing from Germany, according to Ivorian energy authorities.

(Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Writing by Portia Crowe; editing by David Evans)

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