The Ngonye Solar photovaltic (PV) plant in Zambia has started operations and has been connected to the national grid. Enel Green Power (EGP), a subsidiary of Italian power giant Enel, confirmed the reports.
The Ngonye project is located in Lusaka South,a Multi-Facility Economic Zone in the country’s south. It is the second to be constructed in Zambia as part of the World Bank Group’s Scaling Solar programme, that offers a “best-in-class” framework for the procurement of solar projects from independent power producers (IPPs).
The 54 MW Bangweulu solar PV station was the first plant to be commissioned under the scheme. The station was developed by French renewable-energy company Neoen in North-eastern Zambia.
Ngonye Solar photovaltic (PV) plant
The project which is Enel’s first PV project in Zambia was developed under the Scaling Solar programme, which is driving large-scale PV adoption in African states such as Senegal and Madagascar, among others.
Zambia’s Scaling Solar programme has been carried out by Zambia’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which awarded the project to EGP in June 2016. The plant is owned by a special purpose vehicle 80% held by EGP and 20% by IDC.
The facility, constructed at a cost of US $40m is expected to produce about 70GWh of electricity yearly which will help the country diversify its energy mix to reduce over reliance on hydroelectricity.
Enel’s project will sell its energy to the country’s state-owned utility ZESCO through a 25-year power purchase agreement. The Zambian Government has set a target of installing up to 600 MW of solar PV capacity in the next two to three years. Already the government has launched a series of initiatives to promote development of renewable.