Seychelles issues notice of intended award to Quadran for first utility-scale marine FPV plant at 9.5 USD cents per kWh |10 January 2020
The Seychelles Energy Commission has issued the notice of intended award of Seychelles’ marine floating solar PV project to Quadran (Seychelles) Ltd. The document was issued on Wednesday December 11, 2019.
Quadran is an international renewable energy company, operating in Africa, Europe, and Asia.
This landmark project is on track to be Africa’s first utility-scale marine FPV power plant, as well as Seychelles’ first independent power producer (IPP).
Floating solar PV (FPV) has been deployed at scale in markets including Asia and Europe, but these installations have been in freshwater sites such as lakes and reservoirs; to date FPV has yet to be implemented in a seawater environment at utility-scale.
Seychelles’ innovative project represents an important step forward for FPV technology, as the power plant will be located in a saltwater environment and be designed to cope with challenges such as salinity, tidal fluctuations, and water currents.
“Marine FPV holds immense potential for islands and other land-scarce countries, which may have excellent solar potential but lack available land for traditional ground-mounted solar PV,” Tony Imaduwa, chief executive (CEO) of the Seychelles Energy Commission said.
“We are pleased to lead such innovative project and are confident that it is the first of many to come.”
The request for proposals (RFP) was launched in May 2019 to a shortlist of eligible bidders that resulted from the first phase of the tender (pre-qualification). Bidders then prepared technical and financial proposals, submitted by September 13, 2019. The evaluation committee – comprising representatives from the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (MEECC), Seychelles Energy Commission (Sec), Public Utilities Corporation (PUC), Seychelles Investment Board (SIB), Ministry of Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning (MoFTIEP) and the Attorney General’s Office – completed evaluations of the technical and financial proposals, scoring the technical proposals before the financial bids were opened. A weighted scoring methodology combined the technical scores and financial scores determines the project award, with Quadran’s score leading to their status as the best evaluated bidder.
The approximately 4 MW power plant will be located in the Providence lagoon on Mahé, and provide affordable, clean power to the national grid. Through the IPP structure, the chosen bidder will design, finance, build, and operate the power plant, selling electricity to PUC at a pre-determined, stable price.
The IPP structure draws international expertise and capital to Seychelles, accelerating Seychelles’ renewable energy transition. Because the project is an IPP, the bidders submitted financial proposals with a bid for the tariff (price in USDc per kWh) at which they would supply electricity to PUC through a 25-year power purchase agreement.
Quadran’s winning bid was 9.5 USD cents per kWh, representing a significant financial savings compared to the current cost of producing electricity in Seychelles.
The key transaction documents, the power purchase agreement and government support agreement are expected to be signed in 2020, with construction starting in the second quarter of 2020.
On behalf of the MEECC, the Sec is acting as the procuring entity for the tender. The project is supported by the African Legal Support Facility and the Clinton Foundation, with Trinity International LLP and Multiconsult Norge AS serving as the transaction and tender advisers.
Contributed by the Seychelles Energy Commission