MALI – The government of Mali has selected the Indian giant National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) to support it in the development of a solar photovoltaic project that should lead to the production of 500 MWp.

Africa Energy Portal reported that Mali settled on NTPC because the Indian company had extensive experience in setting up and developing solar projects.

NTPC with a workforce of more than 20,000 employees has so far installed 62,110 MW, making it an undisputed global giant in the field of electricity.

NTPC, will be specifically tasked with carrying out various activities to select “solar project developers on a competitive basis for the project development and the conclusion of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with entities designated by the Government of Mali”.

According to Africa Energy Portal, NTPC’s project management consulting fees will be recovered from selected solar project developers.

Africa Energy Portal further explained that, depending on feasibility, NTPC may also develop solar projects by investing its own funds in countries where feed-in tariffs are in force.

The contract awarded to the state-owned National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) by the Malian government is part of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) initiative.

ISA is an intergovernmental alliance whose objective is to encourage better exploitation of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Within the framework of this alliance created in 2015, the NTPC has set itself the objective of accompanying the 121 member countries in the development of 10,000 MWpeak  of solar energy over the next two years.

The NTPC has already begun to achieve its ambitions in West Africa, having signed a contract with the Togolese authorities to act as advisor for the development of a 285 MWp solar project.

Mali is only just beginning to exploit its solar potential, with several concessions already awarded to independent power producers (IPPs).

An example is the Emirati Pal 4 Énergie Solaire, which will install a 100 MWp solar power plant in Diéma in the west of the country.

In Tiakadougou-Dialakoro, a small commune of 7,000 inhabitants, located a short distance from Bamako, the Emirati IPP Amea Power is developing a 50 MWp solar project.

A 33 MWp solar power plant will also be built in Ségou thanks to the Norwegian company Scatec Solar.

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