Seychelles flicks switch on first renewable energy project

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Masdar wind farm in the Republic of SeychellesSeychelles flicks switch on first renewable energy project

Abu Dhabi’s state-owned green energy company Masdar yesterday cut the ribbon on the Seychelles’ first major renewable energy project, designed to help the archipelago curb its reliance on expensive and carbon-intensive diesel generators.

The 6MW wind farm in Port Victoria is expected to displace 5,500 tons of carbon dioxide a year by reducing the need for 1.6 million litres of diesel fuel. As diesel accounts for a quarter of the island nation’s imports, the move is expected to significantly cut energy bills.

The project was built by Masdar and funded through a reported Dh102.8m (£18m) grant provided by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development – a government entity that aims to improve living standards in developing nations.

“This project builds on Masdar’s commitment to demonstrating the economic and environmental advantages of renewable energy,” said Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and chief executive of Masdar.

“With prices falling and new advancements in technology, renewable energy is reaching grid parity in many parts of the world. With energy demand expected to double by 2030 – putting a further strain on our natural resources – renewable energy is a viable solution to power future growth.”

James Michel, president of the Republic of Seychelles, said the wind farm would take the island state a step closer to meeting its target of generating 15 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2030.

“Access to sustainable, clean sources of energy is vital to our long-term economic development,” he said. “The addition of wind power is a major step toward meeting our clean energy targets and reducing our dependency on imported sources of power. We look forward to further opportunities to assess our wind power potential and continue to diversify our energy mix.”

Masdar added that The Port Victoria Wind Farm was also an engineering feat for the company as it had to install eight wind turbines, on two separate islands and connect the wind farm with three kilometres of subsea cables.