The promotion of renewable energy technologies remains a key aspect of PURA’s work. Solar and Wind energy technologies continue to offer the highest potential as a domestic energy resource. A pilot grid connected Wind Energy project has been in operation since 2009 and has demonstrated that wind energy is viable in The Gambia.
PURA has made it a priority to encourage investors that want to generate electricity from any renewable energy. Although solar technologies have been used in The Gambia since the 1980s, however solar technologies like solar PV are used primary for on-site sources of energy for water pumping. The proportion of solar PV installed for domestic electricity is relatively small although there have been a surge in recent interest on grid connected and large scale solar projects. These present new and exciting challenges for PURA.
Batakunku Pilot Wind Project
The project comprises of a 150 kVA generator using wind energy installed in the village of Batakunku. The Batakunku windmill is a community run and managed project by the villagers of Batakunku. It provides electricity for the villagers when there is wind and any excess is be pumped into the transmission network and power obtained from NAWEC in case there is no wind. About eighty (80) compounds have been connected to an underground distribution network.
- 200kVA Transformer (33kV/400V);
- The distribution network (parts of which are underground) and;
- Wind turbine.
The project was implemented in two phases. The initial phase connected the village to the grid and this was inaugurated in July 2008. The second phase involved the erecting of the lattice tower and nacelle and construction started in November 2008 as shown in the pictures above. The Turbine was inaugurated in January 2009.
PURA’s role was to ensure access to the grid for the Licensee and also ensure that a Power Purchase Agreement was completed. A Licence was issued by the Hon. Minister in 2008 following the recommendation of PURA.
The success of Batakunku has ignited an interest in Renewable Energy and The Gambia commissioned its first wind park in August 2012.