Week in Africa: Scatec Signs Agreement with Lesotho Government for 20 MW Solar Project; 10 IPPs in Run for Developing 60 MW Solar PV Plants in Ivory Coast and More

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Scatec Signs Agreement with Lesotho Government for 20 MW Solar Project

Norwegian renewable power producer Scatec ASA (SCATC) has entered into an agreement with the Government of Lesotho and the Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) to build a 20MW solar project in Lesotho. The solar project named Neo 1 will be the first public-private, utility-scale solar plant in the Kingdom of Lesotho. The project has a total estimated capital investment of ZAR 430 million (USD 26.5 million) funded by Renewable Energy Performance Platform and equity co-sponsors including Scatec, Norfund, One Power Lesotho, Lesotho Pension Fund, and Izuba Energy. Scatec will be the lead equity investor in the project and carry out the EPC services as well as provide operation & maintenance and asset management services to the power plant. The electricity produced will be sold to the LEC through a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), with a financial close expected in early 2022. The connection and implementation agreements with the LEC and the Government were signed at an official ceremony held in Lesotho’s capital, Maseru.

10 IPPs in Run for Developing 60 MW Solar PV Plants in Ivory Coast

The Ivorian Government and the World Bank’s private sector financing subsidiary, International Finance Corporation (IFC) have recently announced the results of the pre-qualification process for two 60 MWp solar photovoltaic power plants in the country. These projects are implemented through public-private partnerships (PPP), under an agreement signed between the government and the IFC. Ivory Coast has joined the World Bank Group’s “Scaling Solar” program in November 2019, which aims to develop 60MW of grid-connected solar power in the country through two PPP projects, creating a new regional market for solar investment. The two solar photovoltaic power plants will be developed in La Boa and Touba, both located in the Bafing region of the western Ivory Coast. A total of ten companies have been selected to continue the qualification process. Among these companies, the French investment company Meridiam and Electricité de France (EDF) group’s subsidiary EDF Renewals have decided to work in the consortium.

CBE to Supply 2.5 MWp of Solar Power to Molo Mine in Madagascar

CrossBoundary Energy’s (CBE) Madagascar subsidiary will provide hybrid solar energy to power operations at the Molo graphite mine in Madagascar. The mine is operated by Canadian company NextSource Materials. The hybrid system will include a 2.5 MW solar photovoltaic power plant, a 1 MWh battery power storage system and 3.3 MW diesel generators. The 20-year term contract has been designed to scale with the production output of the Molo mine, where the power delivery will increase in lockstep with all future expansion capacity requirements. This contract will empower NextSource to source up to one-third of the mine’s total electricity needs from renewable solar energy. Located near the town of Fotadrevo in the Atsimo-Andrefana region, the Molo graphite project is a high-quality flake graphite deposit, 100%-owned by NextSource.

BDEAC Grants €6 Million Loan to Ziz Energie for Hybrid Solar Mini-Grids

Chad-based Ziz Energie has received a financing facility of 4 billion CFA francs (more than 6 Million Euros) from the Development Bank of Central African States (BDEAC). This financing will enable the electrification by hybrid solar mini-grids installation in two towns in the country. Headquartered in N’Djamena, Ziz Energie is gaining popularity in the local energy scene. The loan will help increase Ziz Energie’s portfolio of hybrid solar mini-grids and contribute to the electrification of the country. The financing granted by the BDEAC will provide hybrid solar mini-grids to the towns of Mongo and Ati, located in the Guéra and Batha regions respectively. The project involves financing, building, and commissioning solar power plants with a capacity of 2.5 MWp, each for the two towns. Both the facilities will be supported by a battery energy storage system (BESS), as well as backup generators that are capable of producing 1.5 MW. The systems will be equipped with a 20 km medium voltage transmission line and a 40 km distribution network.

IFC Partners with Other Investors to Develop 100 MW Solar Power Project in Congo

The World Bank Group’s private sector financing arm International Finance Corporation (IFC) has partnered with other investors in the African renewable energy market to scale up clean energy production capacity in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Other investors in the large-scale solar power plant include Globeleq, Greenshare Energy, Greenshare Congo, Nzuri Energy, and Volt Renewables. The independent power producer (IPP) project is a planned 100 MW of solar PV plant that will be developed near the city of Kolwezi, located in the Lualaba province of the country. The electricity produced will be sold to SNEL, the national electric company of DRC. This will support the mining operations and economic activity in the region, as Kolwezi is itself a mining town and Lualaba province has a large deposit of minerals. As a major shareholder, IFC will provide USD 0.9 million for the development phase of the project through its Collaborative and Eco-Development Finance Program. IFC will further provide another funding of up to USD 0.9 million from the Finland-IFC Blended Finance for Climate Program to support the project’s development costs.

DPT to Provide 10 MW of Solar Power to Cape Town Data Centre Facility

Africa Data Centres has appointed Distributed Power Technologies (DPT), formerly Distributed Power Africa DPA to provide solar energy and storage solutions for its data centres across South Africa. Africa Data Centres is part of London-based Cassava Technologies group of companies which is a leading communications solutions provider across several African countries. The partnership will initiate the deployment of power generation facilities to meet more than 10 MW power requirements at the Cape Town facility of Africa Data Centres. The announcement came after a few days Africa Data Centres secured an investment of ZAR 4 billion (nearly USD 250 million) to expand its two data centres in Johannesburg from 30 MW to 100 MW of IT load. Africa Data Centres has already assigned DPT for operating solar-powered systems for its data centres in the region, including a 1.1 MW East Africa Data Centre in Nairobi solution, and is in the process of completing a 1.2 MW rooftop installation at the Midrand facility. The data centre solutions are designed as hybrid solutions to improve energy resilience.

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