“The sun never sends a bill”

Interview with the Tauber Solar Group

How did this extraordinary project come about?

TS: During a private visit to the island we got the chance to talk about solar energy with some members of the government. We told them about our company and the idea of using the island’s solar energy effectively. We were met with open ears and were able to generate interest in the idea. Apparently it was a topic that had been on the table in their discussions for a few weeks. You could say we just happened to be in the right place at the right time. 

What challenges did you face?

TS: A project of this size only works when you have a team and when everyone works as a team player. We already had experience in building and operating solar plants in other European countries such as Spain. But this project would outshine everything we had done so far, if you want to put it in solar company terms (laugh). No one on the island had any experience in building such a plant, so we had to lay the foundation for that first. Sarako gives us the perfect partner on-site. We know we can trust each other work together successfully, which is something we are very happy about. At the same time, we brought other companies with experience in building large plants into the project early on. And we also had to make sure that the transformer stations and inverters were delivered on time.

Were there any other unique aspects to this project? 

TS: Yes. The intended site was initially deemed “unfit for construction” by the project managers and architects. We had to take soil samples and analyse the rocks for the substructure. Then we had to get a special piece of equipment for pouring the foundation and drilling holes in the ground onto the island. It is also an area with a lot of sun, so dealing with the heat was a constant challenge for our people. 

How does a solar park like this help Mauritius? 

TS: As the famous saying goes: The sun never sends a bill. Mauritius gets most of its energy from oil and coal. Now the island is able to use an energy resource that is available every day and doesn’t cost a thing. It’s a pioneering way for the island to producing its energy self-sufficiently in a way that is also profitable and good for the environment.