Works of first solar photovoltaic station in Tunisia starts
24/07/2017 17:37, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) – The construction of a 10-megawatt solar photovoltaic station in the governorate of Tozeur started on Monday.

This station, which will be connected to the electricity grid in May 2018, is the first of its kind to be carried out by STEG. "It is a project financed by the German Bank, with a loan of 26 million dinars, repayable over 12 years, with 4 years of grace," said CEO of the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (STEG) Moncef Harrabi, in a statement to the press.

According to Harrabi, this station will optimise mastering of renewable energy technologies and strengthen scientific research in this field in addition to the employment opportunities it will generate. A second tranche of a production capacity of 10 megawatts is planned, as part of the Tunisian solar plan, he said, adding that STEG is planning to carry out additional projects to produce an additional 300 megawatts in the regions, in particular those with a large deposit of renewable energy.

STEG CEO also stressed that all these projects will be linked to the high-voltage electricity stations of the STEG, which will improve means of production of electricity in the country.

Héla Cheikhrouhou, Minister of Energy, Mines and Renewable Energies, said the construction of this station is part of the Tunisian Solar Plan (PST) aimed at increasing the rate of production of electricity from renewable energies to 30% and to generate up to 1,000 megawatts of solar energy by 2020.

The minister also considered that solar energy production in Tunisia is very limited, not exceeding 35 megawatts during the last decade, mainly from roofs equipped with solar panels, expressing hope that solar production will develop in accordance to the objectives of the solar plan, through openness to private investment in this sector.

Sheikhrouhou also mentioned future projects that will produce 1,000 megawatts between 2017 and 2020, of which 380 megawatts by STEG and 620 megawatts by the private ones.

In this connection, he said that electricity consumption has increased by 11% this current year, compared to 2016, exceeding the 3,800 megawatts, which, according to the minister, still requires search for energy alternatives.

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