Mauritius now uses solar energy

In a record time of just one year after planning and construction, the Tauberbischofsheim-based solar company Tauber-Solar together with the Mauritian partner Sarako put the first solar park in Mauritius into operation. The PV system was built by the Conecon Group, which has its headquarters in Aschaffenburg and subsidiaries in Spain, Italy and Romania, among others. On an area of around 18 hectares, 60,800 solar modules were installed in a highly demanding area in the record time of 5 months.

On a steep slope and on volcanic ground, 22,000 holes had to be drilled for the substructure and stabilized with Drymix. Mauritius is located in a cyclone area. Wind speeds of up to 280 km/h can occur during the summer months, and this was taken into account during planning and construction. For the construction of the plant, with a peak output of 15.20 MWp, 17 inverters and transformers from ABB were used. Due to the size of the system, a separate substation had to be built for the solar park, from which the kilowatt hours (kWh) produced are fed directly into the Mauritian 66 kilovolt high-voltage grid of the local grid operator via a 4.5 km long high-voltage overhead line. When planning and selecting the components, regional characteristics such as the location in the Indian Ocean and the very small power grid were taken into account. The system will produce around 24 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity per year and save 15,000 tons of CO². The amount of electricity generated corresponds to approx. 1% of the annual electricity consumption of the main island of Mauritius. The park is monitored and controlled both by the service center of the Tauberbischofsheim company Tauber-Solar (another company of the Tauber-Solar Group) and by local employees on site with the software of a renowned German manufacturer. The security system works with thermal cameras. At peak times, up to 160 Conecon Group employees were on site. Tauber-Solar, Sarako and Conecon have concluded a partnership through successful, close cooperation with the intention of realizing further projects (for the benefit) of regenerative energy production in this region.

The companies are increasingly relying on foreign projects, especially in countries that can achieve a cheaper and self-sufficient energy supply with the sun. The knowledge gained here on solar power generation is thus further developed and distributed abroad. At the same time, the companies regret the socio-political development and mood in their own country, in which solar energy is presented as the supposed main cause of rising electricity prices. The companies therefore tirelessly explain that solar power in particular is still the cheapest and most environmentally friendly form of energy generation compared to all other energy suppliers. From the point of view of the solar operator, the electricity price should be significantly lower, especially for consumers, since renewable energies lower the price on the electricity exchange significantly. According to the companies, this must be passed on to consumers.

First solar park in Mauritius generates 15.2 MWp of solar power. Photo: © Aeroshot
First solar park in Mauritius generates 15.2 MWp of solar power. Photo: © Aeroshot
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