Hybrid solar plants in Central Africa for clean, reliable energy

Two-hybrid solar as well as storage plants situated in Cameroon, as well as solar installations in Chad, have been leased by a renewable energy firm from electrical utility ENEO. The two facilities in Cameroon will have a combined capacity of 36MW solar as well as 20MW/19MWh storage and will provide low-cost, clean, and reliable power to Maroua and Guider in Cameroon’s Grand-North.

The IFC (International Finance Corporation) is a partner in the effort and will contribute 10-20% of the Cameroon project expenses to help Scatec, a renewable energy firm, realize these re-deployable projects.

“Access to sustainable, dependable, and affordable power is crucial for economic recovery and growth,” said Sylvain Kakou, who works as the IFC Country Manager for the Central Africa region. IFC is happy to join with Scatec’s Release to help Cameroon bridge the power gap with a unique solution that allows solar power solutions to be rapidly deployed to help fulfill today’s electricity needs while setting the path for a more competitive, greener, and long-term energy industry sustainability. This collaboration is in line with the World Bank Group’s objective to align its activities with the goals of the Paris Agreement in order to assist our commercial and public sector partners in meeting global climate targets.”

The first power is planned to be delivered by the end of 2021, with the remainder to be provided in phases until the project is completed in mid-2022.

The framework of this project is unusual in that it ensures governments and utilities have access to clean and reliable energy without the need for sovereign guarantees or parliamentary approval. “We believe this concept will be a sound answer for many African utilities facing power shortages and grid instabilities,” said Hans Olav Kvalvaag, Scatec’s SVP of Release.

The renewable energy supplier will also deploy 7.7MWp solar in Chad, in addition to two-hybrid solar as well as storage facilities in Cameroon. This will let 300,000 people in five provincial cities gain access to sustainable energy through newly built decentralized “metro-grids” developed and administered by local private provider ZIZ Energie.

ZIZ Energie is funded by the Dutch development bank FMO and the Energy Access Ventures fund and has recently obtained financing from BDEAC (Development Bank of Central African States) to construct grid infrastructure and connections to offer electricity to nearby residents and companies. The power plants’ construction is planned to be completed in 2022.

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