The African Development Fund (ADF-15) and the Transition Support Facility (TSF) have approved a grant of US$49.92 million for the construction of a 30-megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant in Eritrea. The Dekemhare 30-megawatt photovoltaic solar power plant project aims to increase the country’s grid energy to 365 gigawatt-hours/year and boost socio-economic development.
The project includes the design, construction, supply, and installation of a 30 MW grid-connected solar photovoltaic power plant with a 15 MW/30 MWh battery energy storage system, a 33/66 kV substation, and a 66 kV transmission line connected to the existing transmission line between East Asmara and Dekemhare, located about 1 km from the project site. The second component of the project includes technical assistance and capacity building to support large-scale renewable energy projects and improve the operational performance of the grid.
Eritrea experiences inadequate, unreliable, expensive, and polluting electricity supply. The project aligns with the 2018 National Energy Policy and Eritrea’s Vision 2030, which aims to increase the electrification rate and supply 20% of electric power demand through renewable energy sources. The project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42,910 Gg CO2-eq per year and increase the share of renewable energy in the grid’s energy mix from 3% to 23%.
The government of Eritrea is the beneficiary of the grant, and the Ministry of Energy and Mines is responsible for its implementation. The project will create temporary jobs during project implementation and long-term jobs after project completion, leading to increased economic opportunities and job creation.
The project aligns with the Bank’s Desert to Power project, providing renewable energy via solar for 250 million people across eleven countries in the Sahel and East Africa, making it the largest solar zone in the world.