Russia’s NovaWind to deploy 200 MWp of solar power in Mali as a matter of urgency

01 06 2024 | 04:28Jean Marie Takouleu

As the electricity crisis continues to slow the development of Mali's economy, transitional President Assimi Goïta laid the foundation stone for a new photovoltaic solar power plant on Friday 24 May. With a capacity of 200 MWp, the plant is being built by the Russian company NovaWind, a subsidiary of the giant Rosatom.

Can solar energy help Mali overcome its electricity crisis? We will no doubt find out over the coming months. Mali’s transitional government has been working hard in recent weeks to roll out this solution across the country. On Friday 24 May 2024, Transitional President Assimi Goïta travelled to Sanankoroba in the Kati cercle to lay the foundation stone for a new photovoltaic solar power plant.

With an expected capacity of 200 MWp, it will be the largest solar power plant in sub-Saharan Africa, covering an area of 314 hectares. The park is being built around thirty kilometres from the capital Bamako, under a partnership between the government and NovaWind, a subsidiary of Russian energy giant Rosatom. The Moscow-based company recently signed a partnership with the government of Kyrgyzstan (Central Asia) to develop 1,000 MW of renewable energy.

NovaWind will invest €200 million in the project before it comes on stream in 12 months’ time. Once operational, the plant will be capable of supplying 10% of Mali’s electricity. A day before work was due to start on the Sanankoroba solar power plant, Mali’s Head of State Assimi Goïta met NovaWind’s Managing Director Grigory Nazarov to review progress on the project. At the end of the meeting, the Malian government’s general secretariat said that the project represented “a significant step towards diversifying Mali’s energy mix and reducing its dependence on fossil fuels”.

“With this new-generation infrastructure to be built in Sanankoroba, Mali is embarking on the road to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future,” said President Assimi Goïta. Earlier this month, the Malian government approved the first amendment to the concession agreement for the construction of the 50 MWp solar photovoltaic power plant at Tiakadougou-Dialokoro, in the cercle of Kati. The solar power plant, which has been in the pipeline since 2020, will be built under a public-private partnership (PPP) by the Emirati company Amea Power.