Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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HomeAfrica FocusWest Africa’s largest solar plant breaks ground

West Africa’s largest solar plant breaks ground

The Togolese Republic has embarked on an ambitious renewable energy programme.

AMEA Power has broken ground on phase 3 of the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Solar Power Plant in Togo. Once the expansion project in Togo is completed by the end of 2023, the solar plant will be the largest of its kind in West Africa.

Located in the village of Blitta, the solar plant will be extended from 50MW to 70MW and will include a Battery Energy Storage System to prolong the availability of clean energy to the electricity network at night. The project will power more than 222 000 households and is supporting Togo’s National Development Plan, which has set out a goal to provide universal access to electricity across the country by 2030.

AMEA Power is one of the fastest-growing renewable energy companies in the Middle East. Hussain Al Nowais, Chairman of AMEA Power, said: “The solar plant is providing a project blueprint that AMEA Power is using to deploy renewable energy across other parts of Africa. With the integration of battery storage, the plant can extend its power production to provide Togolese communities with clean energy at night.

“This project would not be possible without the ongoing support of the Togolese government, which continues to demonstrate its commitment to renewable energy and delivering energy access to the people of Togo.”

Phases 1 and 2 of the project were fully developed by AMEA Power during the Covid-19 pandemic, and took less than 18 months to complete from their initial inception. Both project phases became fully operational in June 2021, with AMEA Technical Services currently responsible for the operations and maintenance of the solar plant.

To finance the development of the third phase of the project, Abu Dhabi Exports Office (ADEX) has provided the Togolese Ministry of Economy and Finance with a loan of $25-million. The project will be constructed by AMEA Technical Services, a subsidiary of AMEA Power. ADEX also participated in the financing of the construction of the project’s second phase, with an envelope of $10-million of debt.

To support the economic and social development of Togo, AMEA Power’s investment in the region has also involved a range of initiatives to support the local community. These initiatives have comprised the construction and renovation of primary schools and the construction of a medical clinic with maternity support facilities. AMEA Power has also established an internship programme for engineering students from various technical institutions across Togo to gain practical experience at the solar plant.

About AMEA Power

Headquartered in Dubai, AMEA Power is a developer, owner and operator of renewable energy projects. As one of the fastest-growing renewable energy companies in the region, the company is rapidly expanding its investments in wind, solar, energy storage and green hydrogen, demonstrating its long-term commitment to the global energy transition.

AMEA Power has assembled a world-class team of industry experts to deliver projects across Africa, the Middle East and other emerging markets.

The President of the Togolese Republic, Faure Gnassingbé, attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the third phase of the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Solar Power Plant.

The International Finance Corporation and African solar power

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has developed a programme called Scaling Solar in Africa.

Solar power has enormous potential as an energy source in Africa. At the same time, the cost of solar photovoltaic technology has fallen – solar PV can now deliver power less expensively and with more long-term price certainty, than fossil-fuel-based power. Many countries have struggled to develop utility-scale solar power plants due to challenges that include limited institutional capacity, lack of scale, lack of competition, high transaction costs and high perceived risk.

To address these obstacles, Scaling Solar combines World Bank Group services under a single engagement aimed at creating viable markets for solar power in each client country. Scaling Solar can help speed up procurement and development of privately funded and operated grid-connected solar projects at competitive tariffs.

The package includes advice on the size and location of the plants, simple and rapid tendering to encourage high-quality investor participation, fully developed templates of bankable project documents to eliminate negotiation, an IFC financing term sheet attached to the tender and available to all bidders to accelerate financial close, and World Bank Group credit enhancement products – such as Partial Risk Guarantees from the International Development Association (IDA), Liquidity Support Guarantees from the IDA Private Sector Window’s Risk Management Facility (RMF) and Political Risk Insurance (PRI) from MIGA – to lower financing costs and thereby deliver lower tariffs.

IFC helped deliver 167MWp of operating solar capacity through Scaling Solar in Sub-Saharan Africa. Two Scaling Solar engagements have been completed on the continent. In Zambia, home of the first Scaling Solar deployment, two plants with cumulative capacity of 88MWp started producing clean electricity at flat tariffs of US¢6.02/kWh and US¢7.84/kWh in 2019. Two years later, in Senegal, two plants with cumulative capacity of 79MWp came online, with initial tariffs of EUR¢3.80/ kWh and EUR¢3.98/kWh, subject to indexation. Meanwhile, IFC currently has active engagements totalling about 425MWp in five countries and is in early discussions with several others.

For more information contact: scalingsolar@ifc.org


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