• 10MW solar plant planned
  • A small revival of Tunisia’s plan for a diversified energy mix
  • The country has three wind farms in operation

Tunisian Electricity & Gas Company (Steg) has issued a tender for a 10MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant.

The deadline for proposals is 24 June.

The project will be carried out on a engineering, procurement and construction basis near the southwestern desert city of Tozeur. It will be funded by German development bank KfW and the European Union’s Neighbourhood Investment Facility.

This represents a modest revival of Tunisia’s solar plan, with the aim of diversifying the energy mix. Launched in 2009, it set out to build 1,000MW of solar and wind capacity by 2016 and 4,700MW by 2030. However, the political uncertainty following the revolution meant no projects materialised.

The revised 2012 plan envisages 1,500MW of wind, 1,500MW of solar PV and 460MW of solar thermal by 2030. The United Nations Development Programme agreed to provide $3.5m to get the plan off the ground in December 2014.

Tunisia has excellent wind and solar resources. It has three wind farms in operation at Sidi Daoud, Metline and Kchabte totalling 174MW capacity.

In 2012 UK/local consortium TuNur planned to build a 2,250MW solar project to export power to Italy. The project was approved by German Desertec, which has since abandoned plans to generate solar power in the Sahara for transmission to Southern Europe. However, it has never received government permits.

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