Wind Wire: Big entry

Senegal, in West Africa, looks set to burst onto the wind power scene with a 125 MW project under development by Sarreole, a small French developer.

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The project, in Taiba Ndaye on the Atlantic Ocean coast, 75 kilometres north-east of Dakar, is fully permitted and could be operational in 2011. Sarreole managed to secure government land on a long-term lease. The next stage is to get the finance in place. Chapin International, a project finance and investment banking advisory company, is advising Sarreole. Chapin's Eric McCartney says it is in talks with potential investors and plans to approach development agencies.

The firm is also negotiating a long term power purchase agreement with national utility Senelec. McCartney expects this to be signed by next month, followed by financial close early next year. Talks are also under way with turbine manufacturers, including some of the majors, says McCartney. The current plan is to install 50, 2.5 MW units.

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