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Zambia Signs Second Scaling Solar Mandate to Develop Another 500 MW of Renewable Energy

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The Government of Zambia signed agreements  for a second mandate with Scaling Solar, the World Bank Group program that is helping developing countries procure low cost, privately financed, solar power.

This is Zambia’s second engagement with Scaling Solar and it follows successful auctions held in May 2016 for two solar PV plants of up to 50 MW each that attracted some of the world’s top renewable energy developers.

The winning developers and relevant Zambian government agencies are in the process of concluding their agreements, which are expected to be finalized in May 2017, and the World Bank Group’s Board approved a package of financing and guarantees for one of the two winning bidders and will review the same for the second winner in the coming weeks.

The new Scaling Solar mandate will begin with an initial procurement round of up to 200 megawatts (MW) of utility-scale clean energy, with subsequent rounds to follow with a goal of developing 500 MW of renewable power. The Request for Qualifications for the second round are expected to be released in late March 2017.

Only about a fifth of the population in Zambia has access to electricity and the country often experiences up to 10 hours a day of load shedding or blackouts. The Scaling Solar mandate will be led by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Zambia, in close coordination with the Ministry of Energy, and is expected to comprise the structuring and tendering of up to four solar plant projects of 50 MW to 100 MW each. Each plant will be developed by different private sector sponsors through an open and competitive bidding process.

Mateyo C. Kaluba, Acting Chief Executive Officer of IDC Zambia, said: “Completing a first solar public-private partnership in a country is a massive undertaking. The package of bankable documents, transaction structuring advice, and research that Scaling Solar provided saved us considerable time, attracted more competitors, and ensured a successful process. The biggest benefit has been having the Scaling Solar team every step of the way to keep the process moving forward.”

“The partnership between Scaling Solar and IDC Zambia is successfully delivering the affordable renewable energy needed to ease the country’s ongoing energy crisis,” said Oumar Seydi, IFC Director of Eastern and Southern Africa. “Access to electricity is vital for achieving development goals. In Zambia, Scaling Solar has helped create a market that will make it easier for the public and private sectors to work together to meet the country’s energy needs and expand opportunities for families and businesses.”

The two rounds in Zambia, along with Scaling Solar projects currently in progress in Senegal, Madagascar, and Ethiopia, will combine to develop and tender over 1.2 gigawatts of solar power, bringing much needed generation capacity to countries struggling to meet their power needs. The program is also expanding to other regions, with countries in Asia and the Middle East in discussions to join Scaling Solar.

About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group plays a key role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. It consists of five institutions: the World Bank, including the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA); the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Working together in more than 100 countries, these institutions provide financing, advice, and other solutions that enable countries to address the most urgent challenges of development. 

About Scaling Solar
Scaling Solar is a World Bank Group solution that makes it easier for governments to quickly procure and develop large-scale solar projects with private financing. It includes a ‘one-stop shop’ package of technical assistance, templated documents, pre-approved financing, insurance products, and guarantees. Scaling Solar is designed to allow governments to get fast, affordable, utility-scale power up and running within two years of engagement. It has financing support of USAID’s Power Africa, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, and DevCo, a multi-donor facility affiliated with the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG).

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