Three West African countries set for new utility-scale solar
Niger, Liberia, and Ivory Coast gained key funding and development agreements for utility-scale solar projects up to 70 MW, combining concessional financing and private sector investors including UAE-based Masdar; a region set for increased development of renewable power
Utility-scale solar projects in Niger, Liberia, and Ivory Coast gained key funding and development agreements last month, showing the region is set for increased development of renewable power. The projects combine concessional financing and private sector investment.
World Bank, Liberia Sign $96m Financing agreement for 60MWp Solar Power Plant,
The International Development Association (IDA) and the Liberian Ministry of Finance and Development Planning recently signed a $96 million financing agreement for the development of a 60MWp solar power plant at Mount Coffee.
Monie Captan, Chairman of Board of Directors of the state-owned Liberia Electricity Corporation, stated that the plant will be constructed in two phases. The first will have a capacity of 20 MWp while the second will have a 40MWp capacity. The plant is set to take over from the Mount Coffee hydroelectric plant.
The World Bank will finance the design, supply and installation costs as well as the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the solar plants for one to four years. The funding is part of the World Bank’s Regional Emergency Solar Power Intervention Project (RESPIT), which aims to increase grid-connected clean energy capacity in Western and Central Africa, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Chad, and Togo.
Côte d'Ivoire, Masdar Sign Agreement for Development of a 50-70MW solar plant
In early March, Côte d'Ivoire’s government signed an agreement with UAE clean energy company Masdar for the development of a 50-70MW solar power plant. The UAE-based company states that it will partner with the Ivorian Ministry of Mining, Petroleum and Energy to explore the joint development of solar PV plants beginning with a 50-70MW plant.
The new agreement is part of a wider government plan to develop production facilities that integrate different clean energy sources including solar, hydroelectricity and biomass. Masdar targets the delivery of 100GW of clean energy globally by 2030 and believes that Africa has much potential for clean energy development. The company has stepped up its investment in Africa over the past couple of years.
OFID supports Niger's solar energy development with US$25 million
The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) is providing a US$25 million loan to support Niger Republic’s Solar Plant Development and Electricity Access Improvement Project (RANAA). OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa and Niger’s Minister of Finance Ahmat Jidoud signed the loan agreement on March 8. This loan brings the total financing for the project to $167 million, as the OFID joins the African Development Bank, Power Africa, the Green Climate Fund and the Government of Niger as project financiers.
The project is set to scale clean energy access in the country.
Under the RANAA project, three solar plants with a combined capacity of 40MW will be constructed in the Maradi, Dosso and Diffa regions. Also, 600km of new transmission lines will be built to extend the grid and connect cities in the country’s south and in the capital Niamey. The Nigerien government estimates that about 750,000 people living in the three regions will benefit from the project. The loan from the OPEC Fund will specifically finance the construction and grid integration of the 10 MW Dosso solar plant.
Energy & Utilities reported in January that AMEA Power announced a new concession agreement and 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Government of Ivory Coast for the development of a 50 MW solar PV project.
E&U reported in December that Abu Dhabi Exports Office (ADEX) signed an agreement with Togo’s Ministry of Economy and Finance to raise the production capacity of the Mohamed bin Zayed Solar Park in the country to 70 MW.
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