29 of June 2021

Installation Project of a PV System at Santo Amaro Power Plant

The Government of São Tomé and Príncipe (STP) through the Directorate General for Natural Resources and Energy, is creating mechanisms to promote necessary measures to meet national energy policies, in a situation of restricted fiscal policy, aiming at increasing the share of renewable energy into the national energy mix. Because of this, the country has just benefited from a project to install a PV system in the same area of ​​Santo Amaro where the Thermal Power Plants are located.


The determination of the least cost development plan was made taking into account the following agreed policy goal: “the share of installed capacity of renewable energy projects should be around 50%, by 2030 in São Tomé and in Princípe” (Ricardo Energy & Environment, 2018).


Currently, the adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in STP remains limited by a number of barriers related to policy and regulation, institutional capacity, knowledge and awareness, qualification and certification, finance and local availability of technology and expertise, which are gradually overcome with development partners through their projects,as mentioned in ALER's National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Status Report.


The project “Strategic program to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency investments in the electricity sector of São Tomé and Príncipe” financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is being implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources (MIRN) through the Directorate General of Natural Resources and Energy (DGRNE), together with other international partners such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the African Development Bank (AfDB), through their internal projects in the country decided in collaboration with the Government to implement the PV project in Santo Amaro.


The activities of this project were distributed among the three international partners, namely UNDP, AfDB and UNIDO. UNIDO is responsible for the refurbishment of switching station No. 5 (PC5), corresponding to the execution of the GEF-UNIDO project “Strategic Program to promote investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency in the electricity sector of São Tomé and Príncipe” based on component 2 of the project (Promotion of sustainable energy investment), which provides for the strengthening of the electricity system, financing the expansion of PC5's infrastructure.


To meet the national policy, a 2.2 MWp PV power plant to be built will be implemented in two phases, as follows:


(i) a first phase includes the installation of 550 kWp by UNDP; and

(ii) the second phase considers the installation of 1,640 kWp by AfDB.


The implementation of both systems will be interconnected in PC5, whose responsibility has been assigned to UNIDO. However, the capacity of this switching station is limited, which requires a reconditioning of its capacity to allow the connection of the PV systems. This project aims to expand and requalify/reorganize PC5 located in Santo Amaro power plant, to receive power from the two PV power plants, as well as better dispatch coordination of the power plants connected to this switching station.


It is important to emphasise that the work related to the reconditioning of PC5 will be carried out in parallel with the implementation of the PV1 system (under the responsibility of UNDP), and thay both installations will be prior to the implementation of the second phase of the PV system, PV2, under the responsability of the AfDB.


Source © DGRNE