US 154 Million Fund Set up for 100MW Small-scale Solar Power Plants in Zambia

  • The African Development Bank and Green Climate Fund have partnered in a US 154million fund for the development of small-scale solar power plants in Zambia.
  • The two institutions plan to deploy 100MW of green energy in the African state.
  • Zambia has experience an ongoing drought for a number of years now.
  • The program is roled out under the Zambia Renewable Energy Financing Framework and will run for five years.

To address Zambia’s power needs, the framework will deploy alternative energy sources by financing 100 MW renewable energy projects, primarily small-scale solar projects. Technical assistance will also be provided for the development of sustainable rural electrification policies and to build the capacity of domestic financial institutions to finance such projects.

GCF is expected to provide USD 50 million in debt financing and a grant of USD 2.5 million to support the technical assistance component of the project. The proposal includes co-financing of USD 51.5 million from AfDB, as well as USD 50 million from banks and private sector investors.

Wale Shonibare, Ag. Vice-President, Power, Energy, Climate Change & Green Growth at the African Development Bank said: “I am delighted to witness the signing of the African Development Bank’s first Funded Activity Agreement with the GCF. The Bank’s partnership with GCF is now delivering value, aiding the Bank’s efforts to power Africa sustainably by leveraging the continent’s vast renewable energy resources. With the FAA, we will move faster on our shared institutional goals by investing in renewable energy projects in Zambia and offering the much-needed technical assistance to crowd-in further investments into the sector. We look forward to further collaboration between our two institutions.”

Zambia mainly relies on hydropower and has an electricity deficit of about 750 MW due to low water levels at generation plants after a severe drought hit power production.

Zambia was recently in talks with South African power utility Eskom to import 300 megawatts MW.  Read more.

Zambia has an installed capacity of 2.347 Megawatts (MW).  The main hydro power stations include Kariba North Bank Power Station, Kafue Gorge Power Station, Victoria Falls Power Station and Itezhi Tezhi Hydro Power Station.  There is one coal-fired plant, Maamba Collieries, which was commissioned in late 2016 and is currently generating 240 MW of power for ZESCO.

Earlier this year, Zambia announced six solar projects totalling 120MW. Read more

More recently the country announced 2 x 50MW solar PV projects plus a 150MW solar/wind/battery hybrid project

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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