Akuo Energy teams with Schwarzenegger body to develop PV in Mali

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French renewables developer Axuo Energy is teaming up with R20, the international environmental body set up by former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, to build 41MW of PV generation in Mali.

Although the West African state has been in the grip of an insurgency since a coup last year, Akuo Energy said it had already identified sites for two PV projects and was working with R20 and the Malian government to begin developing them.

The two sites are in Kita and Kangaba in west Mali, an area relatively untouched by the conflict, which has mainly been focused on the north of the country.

Akuo Energy said it would finance and construct the projects over the coming months.

They form part of a bigger renewable energy partnership with R20, under which Akuo Energy will also construct 119MW of hydroelectric capacity in the country.

Eric Scotto, president of Akuo Energy, said Africa looked “promising” for renewable energy development.

He said: “Combining a strong potential for renewable energy in terms of resources and biodiversity, and well-known constraints, such as population density and a weak electric grid infrastructure, this continent presents us with all of the types of challenges that we love and know how to take on. We will build energy infrastructures that will lead the Mali to greater energy independence.”

Christophe Nuttall, executive director of the R20, added: “We are convinced that the teams at Akuo Energy will use their expertise to propose the people of Mali solar and hydroelectric power plants that will be perfectly adapted to their needs, taking into account both favourable local conditions, as well as local constraints.”

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