The Grantee invites submission of qualifications and proposal data (collectively referred to as the “Proposal”) from interested U.S. firms that are qualified on the basis of experience and capability to execute a feasibility study to provide the technical, economic, legal and environmental analysis necessary to implement and operate a grid-scale battery electric storage system to manage variable renewable energy generation in Senegal.
Senegal is the leader in West Africa for renewable energy implementation. Of its total installed energy capacity of approximately 930 MW, 180 MW is generated from hydropower, solar power, and wind, and another 60 MW of solar power is under construction. In 2019, Senegal commissioned the largest wind farm in West Africa, the Taiba N’Diaye Wind Farm (“Taiba Wind Farm”) 80 kilometers northeast of Dakar, which generates the entirety of the wind power in Senegal referenced above. The Taiba Wind Farm is operated as an independent power producer (“IPP”) through a special purpose vehicle (“SPV”) owned by Lekela Power B.V. (“Lekela Power”).
Senegal’s high level of renewable energy generation is causing serious problems for the Société National d’Éléctricité du Sénégal (“Senelec,” the national electricity utility). Senelec’s current levels of spinning reserve – extra generation available from generators connected to the grid – are insufficient to balance out the variable output from the Taiba Wind Farm and Senegal’s solar installations. To manage variable solar and wind energy and reduce or eliminate load shedding, Senegal is pursuing battery storage solutions. On June 22, a subsidiary of Lekela Power, Lekela Advisors Limited, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with Senelec to develop a battery electric storage system (“BESS”) project co-located at the Taiba Wind Farm but directly connected to the national grid (“Project”).
The Project envisions an at least 30 MW, 2-hour lithium-ion, grid-connected BESS that would provide a total of 60 MWh of storage for Senegal’s grid. The Project would connect directly to the Tobene substation at the Taiba Wind Farm, a key node on the electricity grid. The BESS is expected to be a scalable modular system with lithium-ion battery cell technology and bi-directional inverters. Multi-level control systems and power electronics will be used to control and monitor the system and its interface with the Taiba Wind Farm and the grid. The BESS system would be designed to be remotely operable and monitored, where all operational information could be accessed via a supervisory control and data acquisition (“SCADA”) system or a web-based portal.
About the Grantee
The Grantee is Lekela Energie Stockage S.A.U., the Project SPV currently being incorporated. The SPV is 100 percent owned by Lekela Power, based in Amsterdam. Lekela Power is a renewable power generation company with a geographic focus on Africa. It has three operational wind projects in South Africa and the Taiba Wind Farm in Senegal, totaling approximately 430 MWs of energy generation capacity, and it has approximately 588 MWs of generating capacity under construction in Egypt and South Africa.
About the Study
The Study would define battery performance specifications, provide a conceptual design of the BESS, and conduct geotechnical site surveys. It would also include an economic and financial analysis for the Project and a supplemental environmental and social impact assessment. Informed by the technical, financial, and environmental analyses, the Study would recommend terms and provide support for the capacity charge agreement. It would also develop draft tender documents for an engineering, procurement, and construction contract and an implementation plan for the Project. Importantly, the Study would include a regulatory review because the regulatory environment for grid-scale battery storage projects is still under development in Senegal. Finally, the Study would provide a U.S. source of supply report and a development impact assessment.
USTDA’s support would help catalyze Lekela Power’s investment in the Project and would position U.S. industry in a flagship project.
The U.S. firm selected will be paid in U.S. dollars from a US$996,155 grant to the Grantee from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.