Burkina Faso will soon play host to the largest photovoltaic power station in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The government of Burkina Faso has signed an investment support agreement with Windiga Energy, a Canadian-based independent renewable energy power producer, which appoints Windiga as the first independent solar energy producer in the country.

Siemens Energy Smart Generation Solutions has been selected to build and operate the pioneering 20-megawatt photovoltaic (PV) plant, which will be located in Zina, in the Mouhoun province. The facility is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2015 and will be the largest photovoltaic power station in Sub-Saharan Africa. The PV power plant is a project that would include, among its potential financiers, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Frontier Markets Fund Managers and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund.

The agreement will finalise a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the National Electricity Company of Burkina (SONABEL) for the purchase of entire electricity production of the facility for 25 years.

Edward Fast, Canada’s Minister of International Trade who was in Burkina Faso as part of a trade mission to Africa congratulated Windiga for the signing of the historic agreement stating, “This US$50 million project will help to meet the country’s electricity needs.”

“We are very pleased with the support that we received from both the governments of Burkina Faso and Canada allowing us to conclude this strategic agreement that will bring about the construction of a major renewable energy project and the launch of the solar energy industry in Burkina Faso,” said Benoit La Salle, President and Chief Executive Officer, Windiga Energy. “This power plant will also contribute to the economic development of the region, employing about 150 Burkinabé workers during the construction phase.”