• Tunisia has announced grid connection for its first utility scale solar power plant close to Sahara Desert with 10 MW capacity
  • Another solar project with 10 MW capacity, Tozeur II has also entered construction, local media reported
  • TerniEnergia of Italy is in charge as the EPC provider to bring the projects online

Tunisia has its first utility scale solar power plant grid connected, and the second is already on its way to be realized by the end of December 2019. The country’s Prime Minister Youssef Chahed announced the commissioning of the plant on his Twitter account as he inaugurated the 10 MW Tozeur I Solar Power Plant close to Tozeur in the Sahara Desert.

The inauguration was followed by a ground-breaking ceremony on the Tozeur II Solar Power Plant which will also have 10 MW capacity, reported local media. Tunisia’s national utility Société Tunisienne de l’Electricité et du Gaz (Steg) has hired TerniEnergia as EPC services provider for the plants after the Italian energy company won a contract in January 2017 (see TerniEnergia To Develop 10 MW Tunisian PV Plant).

Chahed said both the projects will cost a total of TND 62 million ($21.75 million).

Local green news portal Afrik21 said the projects are financed by a €11.5 million ($12.87 million) loan complemented by a €1.5 million ($1.68 million) grant from German Development Bank KfW under the European Union’s Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF), among others. It also said, Tozeur I plant is to have a battery energy storage system under the EPC contract between TerniEnergia and Steg.

Spread over 40 hectares space, Tozeur I and II projects are part of the country’s plans to install a total of 3.5 GW renewable energy capacity to generate 30% of  its electricity by 2030, reported Reuters.

In July 2019, Tunisia successfully conducted a solar auction for 500 MW capacity attracting all bids under $0.03 per kWh. Scatec Solar offered the lowest winning bid of $0.0244 per kWh for a 200 MW plant in Tataouine (see $0.0244/kWh Lowest Bid For Tunisia’s 500 MW Tender).