TUNISIA – Qair, the French renewable power producer, and Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (STEG) have inaugurated a floating solar photovoltaic power plant in the Lake of Tunis, the first in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The new installation which is the first floating solar farm in North Africa covers an area of 2,500 square meters.

The floating solar farm is the result of a project developed in 2020 by the Qair Group. The plant has a capacity of 200 kWp and will inject 265 MWh of clean energy into STEG’s network every year. It is expected to reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 120 tons.

Qair and STEG have built the floating solar facility with the support of the French public agency, Business France.

The facility, worth €50000, is financed by the French General Directorate of the Treasury through the funding mechanism of the Private Sector Study and Support Fund (FASEP).

The project was inaugurated in the presence of the Tunisian ministers Neila Nouira Gongi, Minister of Industry, Energy, and Mines, and Samir Saied, Minister of Economy and Planning.

Gongi said that the floating solar plant reflects Tunisia’s potential in the production of clean energy in the arid regions and the country is determined to develop its clean energy sector.

According to Qair, the new solar plant is capable of supplying electricity to 130 households. Jerome Billerey, the CEO of Qair Group, commented at the inauguration ceremony that the group aims to accompany Tunisia in its energy transition and support the country’s vision by launching other renewable energy projects.

Tunisia’s 97% of electricity production is dependent on natural gas, according to the National Agency for Energy Management (ANME).

The pilot floating solar plant will contribute to the diversification of the country’s electricity mix. Under the Tunisian Solar Plan (PST), 1,860 MW of clean energy will be produced by 2023 and 3,815 MW by 2030.

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