Renewable energy: Medine and Akuo Energy jointly develop a solar farm project at Henrietta
Akuo Energy, the leading French IPP in renewable energy, through its Akuo Energy Mauritius subsidiary, and the Medine Group have teamed up to deliver a 17.5 MW photovoltaic farm on a plot of land of 21 hectares belonging to the Medine Group at Henrietta.
After winning the call for tender from the Central Electricity Board (CEB) in 2016 for the supply of renewable energy and being granted all necessary permits, including the Environment Impact Assessment, the new partners plan to deploy 53,700 solar panels on site.
When it becomes operational, the Henrietta photovoltaic farm will produce 27 000 MWh of 100% green energy, all of which will be injected into CEB’s power network and should meet the electricity requirements of 12,115 Mauritian households whilst reducing the environmental impact by 21,516 tonnes of CO2 a year.
Within a global context where future growth is intrinsically linked to the development of environmental protection initiatives, this Medine Group and Akuo Energy initiative represents a milestone for both partners, in line with the Mauritian authorities’ objective of increasing the share of renewable energy to 35% by 2025.
The equity capital to finance the solar farm is being provided by Akuo Energy and Medine, and bank financing has been agreed with Banque des Mascareignes.
Thierry Sauzier, Chief Executive Officer of the Medine Group, said: « In line with the willingness of the Mauritian authorities to better diversify its various energy supply sources, energy independence represents a major challenge within a local context of sustainable development. Medine has decided to live up to this challenge. This is a major first for our Group that, thanks to this partnership with Akuo Energy, it is opening up to new growth perspectives. »
Eric Scotto, President and Co-founder of Akuo Energy, further added: « It is invaluable for us to be able to collaborate with a player such as Medine Limited, which has been able to provide us with all its local expertise. For us, this project marks the beginning of a long-term partnership for renewable and innovative projects on the island of Mauritius. »
All in all, the project should generate tens of jobs, notably during the development phase of the solar farm as well as during its construction and subsequent servicing once it becomes operational. Akuo Energy Mauritius is also exploring the possibility of implementing its innovative Agrinergie® concept, which maximises the use of the land by combining farming and solar panels. Crops will be able to be grown between the rows of solar panels, taking into consideration the site’s constraint and opportunities and laying emphasis on traditional crops and local expertise to pursue a holistic and sustainable approach. Other agricultural projects are also being looked into, such as ecological sheep grazing or the installation of bee hives.
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