Mauritius now exploiting solar energy

Tauber-Solar is jointly operating the first solar park on Mauritius with its Mauritian partner Sarako

In record time, the Tauberbischofsheim solar energy company Tauber-Solar, together with its Mauritian partner Sarako, has put the first solar park on Mauritius into operation just one year after its planning and construction. The PV facility was constructed by the Conecon Group, headquartered in Aschaffenburg, with subsidiaries in Spain, Italy, Romania and other countries. A total of 60,800 solar modules were constructed on about 18 hectares in the record time of 5 months on extremely challenging terrain.

On steep slopes and a volcanic subsurface, 22,000 holes had to be bored for the substructure and stabilized with drymix. Mauritius lies in a cyclone zone. During the summer months, wind speeds can reach 280 km/h – a factor that was accordingly taken into consideration during planning and construction. Seventeen ABB inverters and transformers were used in the construction of the facility, which has a peak capacity of 15.20 MWp. Due to its size, a special solar park substation had to be built. From the substation, the generated kilowatt hours (kWh) are fed directly over a 4.5 kilometer high-voltage overhead line into the Mauritian 66 kilovolt high-voltage network, which is run by the local high-voltage network operator. In the planning and selection of components, regional peculiarities such as Mauritius’ location in the Indian Ocean and its very small grid had to be taken into consideration. The facility will generate about 24 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity and conserve 15,000 tons of CO2 per year. The quantity of electricity produced corresponds to about 1 percent of the annual electricity consumption of the main island of Mauritius.  The park’s monitoring and control is handled by both the service center of Tauberbischofsheim-based Tauber-Solar (another company in the Tauber-Solar Group) and local staff on site using the software of a well-known German producer. The security system employs thermal cameras. Up to 160 Conecon Group employees were on site during peak periods. Due to this close, successful cooperation, Tauber-Solar, Sarako and Conecon have concluded a partnership with the intention of realizing still more projects (for the general good) to generate renewable energy.  

The companies are increasingly turning to foreign projects, especially in countries that can achieve lower-cost, self-sufficient energy supplies with solar power.  The knowledge gained in this country will thus be further developed and marketed.  At the same time, the companies lament the social and political developments and mood in their own country, where solar energy is presented as the supposedly main cause of rising electricity prices. As a result, the companies have been tirelessly explaining that solar electricity continues to be the lowest cost and environmentally friendliest energy generation compared to all other energy suppliers. In the view of solar plant operators, the price of electricity to the consumer would have to be much lower since renewable energy is reducing prices on the energy exchange substantially. The savings would have to be passed on to consumers, the companies say.

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