Tunisian Sahara will allow Tunisia to be the largest exporter of concentrating solar power in the world by 2016.
The world’s largest concentrated solar power export initiative is set to begin operations in Tunisia by 2016, with construction starting as early as July 2014.
TuNur – a joint-venture between NurEnergie, a solar power plant developer based in England, and a collection of Tunisian investors – is working with the Tunisian government to lay the groundwork for the project.
“The government needs time to examine the studies of the project, and it is also a matter of time for developers to decide. All eyes are focused on us so we have to get everything done on time,” said Kevin Sara, founder and CEO of NurEnergie.
The project will be constructed in the southern governorate of Kebili on a flat expanse of desert between Chott Jerid and the Algerian border. The site has been plotted by TuNur’s engineers over the past three years, and will occupy less than 0.2% of the total area of the desert.
TuNur’s project will generate a minimum of 9,000 GWh of electricity per year, and will adhere to the principles of secure provision and distribution of electricity, social responsibility, economic sustainability, and environmental safety.
To this end, Dr. Till Stenzel, TuNur’s Chief Operating Officer, said that desertification studies have been conducted to ensure that the environmental impact of the project will not jeopardize the ecological integrity of the region.
According to Sara, choosing Tunisia for the project came down to geography and human capital. “Tunisia is a strategic location, and we found that