Cleanwatts Signs Agreement for Two Solar PV Plants in São Tomé and Príncipe in Africa

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Portuguese cleantech company Cleanwatts has signed an agreement with São Tomé and Príncipe in Africa for the production and sale of clean energy. The company will collaborate with the public utility Power and Water Company (EMAE) to install solar power plants across the country.


The first phase of the program will include the installation of solar PV plants at the São Tomé international airport, as well as on the island of Príncipe, with capacities of 1.1 kW and 300 kW, respectively. Cleanwatts’ local partner Pleno Ambiente STP will undertake the installation, operation, and maintenance works.

The new deal will go a long way towards revolutionizing São Tomé and Príncipe’s relationship with energy, along with addressing gaps in affordability and security of supply. The clean energy produced by these plants will be directly fed into the national grid.

According to Basilio Simoes, Cleanwatts Co-Founder and Vice Chairman, the airport solar plant would take less than three months and whereas the bigger plant may take up to two years to build. 

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“In addition to the above-stated projects, we will be providing smart metering in 20,000 homes and 1,500 large customers/distribution networks to monitor the electrical usage in São Tomé and Principe as part of an international public tender,” commented Simoes.

Michael Pinto, CEO of Cleanwatts CEO, said, that the African island states are a promising growth segment for local energy markets and energy communities. Their projects in São Tomé and Príncipe aim to reduce dependence on imported energy through the production of locally generated clean energy.

Osvaldo Abreu, the Minister of Infrastructure and National Resources mentioned the new solar projects as “the result of a great joint effort” by the institutions and companies involved. Abreu also noted that the solar panels and other equipment have arrived in São Tomé’s Port of Ana Chaves, following delays due to the shortage of maritime transport.

Currently, nearly 92% of the total energy produced in São Tomé and Príncipe is generated from diesel generators. The government of this African island country has committed to reducing its dependence on fossil fuels and increasing the share of renewable energy in the energy mix to 50% by 2030.

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The government is also working with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to develop and advance its National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Action Plans. The plans will include feasible and quantifiable targets and sub-targets (by sector, thematic area, and technology) by 2030 and 2050.

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