The Gambia’s plan of expanding electricity access through a mixture of energy sources including solar energy is on course as the West African nation is nearing the completion of a 23MW peak solar project.
The project, which is being funded by the World Bank, European Investment Bank and the European Union is more than 80 per cent completed.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Michael Creg Afful, editor of energynewsafrica.com, in Cape Town, South Africa, during the African Energy Week 2023, Nani Juwara, the Managing Director of National Water and Electricity Company of The Gambia stated that the solar plant, upon completion, would help expand access to electricity.
Nani Juwara said they expect that by January 2024, the project would be commissioned.
He said it is going to be the first of its kind in The Gambia and it would be connected to the national grid.
The Gambian government, he explained, is also working with the West Africa Power Pool to also develop a 150MW solar plant project in the country.
“So we are currently working on the first phase of the project which is going to be 50MW,” he noted.
He affirmed that studies had already been completed, adding that tender documents had also been done and waiting for procurement process, which is also expected to be done before end of this year.
Should the project start as stated, Nani Juwara observed that it could be launched before the end of 2024.
Touching on the access to electricity in The Gambia, he said currently, about 60 per cent of the population has access to power while a chunk of the rural folks do not have it.
It is in this respect that Nani Juwara said The Gambian government has made an ambitious statement to achieve universal access to electricity by 2025.