KRAFTWERK and SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS partner to implement solar PV power plants for self-consumption in commerce and industry in Tunisia

Inauguration of a photovoltaic power plant at cheese producer CPL SOUANI in Tébourba, Tunisia

German photovoltaic (PV) project developer and EPC company KRAFTWERK Renewable Power Solutions GmbH and its Tunisian partner SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS S.A.R.L. have inaugurated a solar power plant at Centrale de Produits Laitiers SOUANI in Tébourba, Tunisia.

CPL SOUANI is renowned for its production of high-quality European cheese variety for the Tunisian market and is located in the picturesque agricultural area of Lansarine, about 30 km West of Tunis, known for its organic agricultural products.

The family-owned and -managed cheese dairy took a big step towards decarbonization and electricity cost savings in summer/ autumn 2021, when KRAFTWERK and SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS designed and implemented an 85 kWp PV system for self-consumption on the roof of the production facility. By pooling their know-how and experience, the two solar companies have formed a partnership for the development and implementation of cost-efficient and reliable PV power plants for commerce and industry in Tunisia.

The solar power plant at CPL SOUANI will reduce the medium-voltage grid-power consumption of the production facility by around 30% per year – and accordingly its electricity costs. Solar energy surpluses will be injected to the grid and shall be remunerated under the Tunisian net-billing regulation, enabling further revenues. The installation is financed by a mix of CPL SOUANI’s own capital and a loan with favorable conditions from the bank UIB under the program SUNREF Tunisie and shall receive an investment subsidy from SUNREF and from Agence Nationale pour La Maitrise de l’Énergie (ANME) after grid commissioning. The customized PV power plant, the smart financing structure, and the support programs allow for a profitable investment with a short payback period. In addition, the PV system will reduce CPL SOUANI’s CO2 emissions by around 70 tons per year.

On December 9, the solar power system was inaugurated at an exclusive event at CPL SOUANI in Lansarine, Tébourba attended by around 30 guests from Tunisia and Germany representing the project partners, financing institutions as well as authorities and the private sector. In the event, representatives from the German Embassy in Tunis, the Tunisian Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Energy, ANME, SUNREF Tunisie and UIB emphasized the lighthouse character of the successful Tunisian-German model project.

Commissioning and grid-connection of the PV power plant shall take place before the end of the year 2021.

The PV power plant for CPL SOUANI was selected as a showcase installation. This project is part of the worldwide dena Renewable Energy Solutions Programme coordinated by the Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) – the German Energy Agency – and supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) within the German Energy Solutions Initiative. The dena RES Programme, known for its high selection criteria and standards, has previously worked with KRAFTWERK on another lighthouse project in Chile.

Dr. Roman Brinzanik, Director New Markets at KRAFTWERK, pointed out: “This model project and the cooperation demonstrate how solar PV power plants can be successfully financed and implemented in the commercial and industrial sector in Tunisia. It is a win-win situation. With its own investment, CPL SOUANI saves energy costs and at the same time protects the environment by reducing CO2 emissions. Through such solar power plants for self-consumption, the private sector can substantially help accelerating Tunisia’s ambitious transition towards affordable and clean energy.”

Mr. Mohamed Salah Gahbiche, CEO of CPL SOUANI, stated: “During my professional career as economic advisor to the Tunisian Ambassador in West Germany back in the late 1970’s, I was impressed by the renowned German quality. This has been a great incentive for me to select a German company for this project. It is a great pleasure for us to deal with KRAFTWERK and we are happy with the result.”

Ms. Rike Sohn, Deputy Head of German Development Cooperation, German Embassy in Tunis, emphasized: “Germany supports the Tunisian energy transition with its technology, its experience in climate protection and renewable energy, with its companies and the quality of their projects. It is in this spirit and with the support of the dena RES Programme that this pilot project could be installed in order to encourage the technology transfer into the promising Tunisian photovoltaic market.”

Technical Project Information:

Location: CPL SOUANI, Tebourba, Governate Manouba, Tunisia

PV power: 85 kWp

Plant type: Grid-connected (medium voltage)

Business model:  Self-consumption

Solar output:  ~ 130,000 kWh p.a.

CO2 savings:  ~ 70 tons p.a.

Modules:  JinkoSolar JKM520M-7TL4-V

Inverter:  REFUsol 100K

Mounting structure:  K2 Systems TiltUp Vento

Completion:  November 2021

About the project partners:

Kraftwerk Renewable Power Solutions

Kraftwerk Renewable Power Solutions was founded in 2010 in Weingarten, Germany and has project offices in Berlin, Frankfurt, Tunis, Cairo, Lima, and Santiago de Chile. Kraftwerk develops and implements customized solar energy solutions for grid-connected and off-grid applications and provides owner’s engineering and EPCM services.


Solar Energy Systems

Solar Energy Systems is a Tunisian company providing engineering and installation of turnkey renewable energy projects. It was established by Dr. Ali Kanzari in 1992 and is a Tunisian leader. Solar Energy Systems operates in several fields: photovoltaics (decentralized electrification with solar energy, solar water pumping, cathodic protection, marine lighting, solar water desalination, grid-connected PV), biogas, CHP&CCHP, and wind energy.


CPL Souani

CPL Souani was founded in 1983 by Mr. Mohamed Salah Gahbiche. The company is known for its high-quality cheese variety, especially for its French Camembert and for other cheese specialties such as Swiss cheese and Italian Mozarella among others. The plant is located in the agricultural area of Lansarine, about 30 km West of Tunis, known for its organic agricultural products that are exported to Europe and also to the United States.

German Energy Agency (dena)

dena is the centre of expertise for energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and intelligent energy systems. As Agency for Applied Energy Transition we help achieve energy and climate policy objectives by developing solu-tions and putting them into practice, both nationally and internationally. In order to do this, we bring partners from politics and business together, across sectors. dena’s shareholders are the Federal Republic of Germany and the KfW Group.


German Energy Solutions Initiative

The transfer of energy expertise, the promotion of foreign trade and the facilitation of international development cooperation are part of the German Energy Solutions Initiative, which is coordinated and financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The initiative offers networking and business opportunities in Germany and abroad, it showcases reference projects and facilitates know-how exchange.


dena Renewable Energy Solutions Programme (dena RES Programme)

The dena RES Programme was developed by the Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) – the German Energy Agency. This programme, supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy within the German Energy Solutions Initiative, helps German renewable energy companies enter new markets. Within the framework of the programme, reference and demonstration projects are installed in cooperation with prestigious institutions. The installation is accompanied by comprehensive PR, marketing and training programmes. These projects show-case high-quality German renewable energy technology and help participating companies gain a foothold in new markets.


Dr. Roman Brinzanik

KRAFTWERK Renewable Power Solutions GmbH

Project Office Berlin

Wilhelminenhofstr. 75

12459 Berlin, Germany
Tel: +49 30 2332 6368

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© KRAFTWERK Renewable Power Solutions GmbH, Photographer: Kamel Agrebi

© KRAFTWERK Renewable Power Solutions GmbH, Photographer: Kamel Agrebi

© KRAFTWERK Renewable Power Solutions GmbH,  Photographer: Kamel Agrebi

© KRAFTWERK Renewable Power Solutions GmbH, Photographer: Kamel Agrebi