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Masdar launches Seychelles wind farm

Abu Dhabi renewables company Masdar has announced the launch of a 6MW, 8-turbine wind farm in the Republic of Seychelles together with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD).

The Port Victoria Wind Farm accounts for 8 percent of Mahé Island’s energy capacity – the main island of Seychelles – which is home to 90 percent of the country’s population. The clean energy generated by this project, which the company said is the first renewable energy project in the Seychelles, will power more than 2,100 homes.

The project, developed by Masdar and funded by ADFD, is set to save 1.6 million litres of diesel fuel per year as the Seychelles currently relies on expensive diesel generators to meet its electricity demand.

With fuel accounting for 25 percent of the country’s total net imports, Seychelles is committed to diversifying its energy mix and reducing its reliance on fuel imports. Being an island country, with limited options to produce electricity, wind power generation presents a viable solution to meet a national target of 15 percent energy from renewable sources by 2030.

“Access to sustainable, clean sources of energy is vital to our long-term economic development,” said James Michel, president of the Republic of Seychelles. “The addition of wind power is a major step toward meeting our clean energy targets and reducing our dependency on imported sources of power.”

“We are grateful for the support from the United Arab Emirates to fund, develop and deliver this wind power project,” added President Michel. “The 6-MW wind farm that has been successfully delivered by Masdar and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development will help us meet our rising demand for energy and also liberates budget to invest in economic and social growth opportunities.”

With the price of renewable energy technologies falling, wind and solar power are becoming economically viable solutions to improve energy security and access, said Masdar. Renewable energy is also a clean and sustainable alternative, which helps developing nations insulate themselves from volatile fuel prices.

“The Seychelles wind project is an example of how access to energy can serve as a pathway for economic development and social opportunity,” said H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and CEO of Masdar. “In particular, for remote island nations, the integration of sustainable energy can deliver an immediate economic and tangible impact. Today, Seychelles can redirect fuel savings into investments in infrastructure development, social programs and to spurring economic growth.”

The Port Victoria Wind Farm also represents an achievement in engineering. The project required Masdar to construct eight wind turbines on two separate islands and connect the wind farm with 3 km of subsea cables. In addition, Masdar said it used advanced turbines that can harness energy during low-to-medium wind speeds and which are resilient to corrosion from the salt and humidity of the ocean.

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Policy, investment and markets  •  Wind power