Study of alternative solutions and technology transfer related to the integration of renewable energy in the electricity supplies of Tenerife and Senegal, and a pilot project of an installation connected to the grid (MAC/3/C179).
This project, conceived as a platform for technical cooperation in the field of renewable energy integration in electricity grids between the Canary Islands and Senegal, started in October 2010 and ended in June 2013. It was conceived with the primary objective of increasing the capacity of public authorities and technicians to promote the incorporation of renewable energy in the electricity supplies of these regions. The MACSEN-PV project was co-financed by the Europe’s MAC 2007-2013 programme, and involved as its partners: the Institute of Technology and Renewable Energies (ITER), the Tenerife Energy Agency (AIET), Senegal’s national agency for rural electrification (ASER) and centre for research into renewable energies (CERER).
During the first phase of the project, it carried out an assessment of the energy situation in both regions, which resulted in 12 energy sector analysis reports, detailing the availability of resources, demand growth forecasts, pertinent legislation, the leading electricity market needs and gaps in technical training. Based on the findings of these reports, various information resources and aids have been developed to inform technicians, the competent public institutions and training staff. Specifically, a “guide on integrating renewable energies into the electricity supply, and specific applications for service managers”, a series of 16 “support materials for teachers of secondary and tertiary education” and the teacher training support video “didactic trails at the ITER facilities – MACSEN-PV project”. These resources have been distributed specifically to attendees of the project’s Technical Seminars, held both in Tenerife and in Senegal. Nevertheless, they are also available for download from the project’s website (http://macsen-pv.iter.es) in Spanish and French. In addition, an online advisory office has been set up on the project’s website, providing access to documentation, links and practical tools related to energy planning, teaching, and training and employment opportunities in the sector.
The project culminated with the connection to the grid of a 3kWp mixed photovoltaic plant, situated at the headquarters of CERER in Dakar. The facility was inaugurated by government officials of Senegal and Tenerife in December 2012. This photovoltaic system is a milestone in the development of renewable energy in Senegal, since it is the first renewable energy installation to have been connected to the country’s conventional electricity grid. The system will be used as a starting point for further integration of renewables in Senegal’s national electricity grid in the future, as it represents a blueprint for the country based on isolated mini-networks. In addition, through CERER, the facility will serve as a platform for demonstrations and practical exercises for local technicians. For this reason, its design has been adapted by ITER specifically to take account of the peculiarities of the Senegalese grid, and so as to maximise its use as a blueprint and as an educational tool.
Worthy of note is the great recognition and national and international visibility achieved by the project, which is underlined by its more than 200 media mentions of various kinds, its presence at more than 45 international events outside the country, and as the subject of three articles in scientific-educational publications.