Somali power co BECO switches on 8-MWp solar park

Somali power co BECO switches on 8-MWp solar park

Somalilandsun: Somali power utility BECO has recently commissioned an 8-MWp solar park in the country’s capital Mogadishu, it was reported by several media outlets including Reuters.

The company was seeking to reduce the costs of producing electricity from diesel generators, which are largely the source for much of the country’s power. The new solar plant now supplies power for four hours per day to 300,000 BECO customers, while fossil-fuel generators fill in to meet the remaining daily needs, according to Reuters.

BECO expects to add more solar power to reach 100 MW by 2022 with an investment of USD 40 million (EUR 35.5m). Chief engineer Mohamud Farah told Reuters that the utility would still need to keep its fossil-fuel generators, unless it invests in battery storage.

Somalia does not have a national electricity grid service. It came down with the government at the start of the civil war in 1991. Since then, electricity is supplied by private companies.

BECO’s area of service covers Mogadishu, Kismayu, Barawe, Marka, Balad, Jowhar, Afgooye and Elasha, according to Reuters.

The capital city relies on 35 MW of total installed capacity, but needs 200 MW.

According to information on Somalia’s energy sector collected by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), only 15% of the country’s population has access to electricity with 2.4 million Somali households living without power.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.887)