May 27, 2016

Senegal set for West Africa’s largest PV plant

1 min
Senegal has received a US $40 million l...

Senegal has received a US $40 million loan to build the largest solar plant in West Africa.

The Senegalese government has recently had to reassess the way it delivers energy to its people in the face of large-scale power outages, and the country’s sunny climate makes it an obvious candidate for solar energy.

Proparco, a French development agency, provided the loan — which is to be repaid over the course of 18 years.

The project will involve further input and finance from: investment firm Meridiam; Solairedirect, a French construction company that specialises in solar energy and Schneider Electric, which is involved in electricity distribution and energy management.

It is believed that a quarter of a million residents will benefit from the 30MW ‘Senergy’ plant, located 100km northeast of the capital, Dakar.

The plant is expected to be operational by early 2017. 

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Apr 23, 2021

Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Drax is advancing biomass following Pinnacle acquisition it reported in a trading update

Drax' recently completed acquisition of Pinnacle more than doubles its sustainable biomass production capacity and significantly reduces its cost of production, it reported in a trading update.

The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.

The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).

Drax CEO Will Gardiner said its Q1 performance had been "robust", supported by the sale of Drax Generation Enterprise, which holds four CCGT power stations, to VPI Generation.

This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.

In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.

The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.

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