A wave of big African solar is about to break – pv magazine international

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The Africa Solar Industry Association has registered nearly 2 GW of large-scale project announcements since the start of last month with 18 countries planning new clean energy infrastructure and including energy storage at power plants.

The 540 MW of solar power generation capacity and 1.14 GWh of energy storage awarded to Norwegian developer Scatec to help keep the lights on in South Africa recently is the biggest project the trade body has ever done. Africa Solar Industry Association (AFSIA) has described as “an unprecedented series of large-scale photovoltaic installations on the continent.

The membership organization saw 1,879 MW of announcements of large-scale solar and storage projects in the five weeks since early June, it said in an article on its website.

Scatec’s Kenhardt project – awarded under a coal-free but otherwise technologically neutral ‘risk mitigation’ tender organized by the South African government to address frequent grid failures – was the largest of recent awards, which also included seven project announcements for total generating capacity of 70 MW in Zimbabwe from a list of facilities in 18 countries.

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Three Togolese projects on the list amount to 225 MW of new solar in development or announced and two installations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will add 200 MW, the same volume as the Serenje photovoltaic plant planned by the Zambian operation. of US Clean. developer of electricity Ultra Green Corporation in the southern neighbor of the DRC. Two power plants will add a forecast of 180 MW in Tanzania and two Namibian projects announced in the past five weeks are expected to add 111 MW of solar power.

The smallest project included on a list of solar and storage plans announced in Côte d’Ivoire (a total of 75 MW); Niger (60 MW); Botswana (50 MW); Madagascar (20 MW and 5 MWh of storage); Mozambique (19 MW plus 7 MWh); Burkina Faso (17 MW); the breakaway Republic of Somaliland in Somalia (8 MW / 2 MWh); Mauritius (8 MW); and Burundi (7.5 MW), was a 550 kW generator planned for Sao Tome and Principe. The latter project was one of two that will add a total of 2.15 MW of generation capacity in the offshore state. The list also included plans for Italian energy company ENI’s Rebiana solar power plant in Libya, although no details of scale were given.

AFSIA noted the re-emergence of the World Bank’s Scaling Solar campaign as a major driver of generation capacity, following the initiative’s failure to deliver hundreds of megawatts of photovoltaic power to Ethiopia. This year, the professional body said on Wednesday, the program has delivered plans for 50 MW of solar in Niger, 60 MW in Côte d’Ivoire and 190 MW in Togo.

The continental industry consortium noted that the floodgates could finally open for clean energy in Botswana after the state-owned utility, Botswana Power Corporation, cleared local developer Shumba Energy to develop 100 MW of solar energy as the country’s leading independent power producer. AFSIA said the move followed years of disappointment for solar developers who had expressed interest in annual 100MW clean power tenders that were never followed up. The southern African nation also introduced a net metering and feed-in tariff program late last year, which will enable 8 MW of commercial and industrial (C&I) solar power and 2 MW of home solar power. during its first year.

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority is behind the country’s presence in the list, having granted seven licenses for more than 66 MW of generation capacity and AFSIA believes there are also plans for more than 1 GW of private C&I solar projects in the country, including the 200 MW will be installed by UK-based platinum miner Zimplats at its Mimosa operation.

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