The government of Djibouti through the country’s electricity utility Électricité de Djibouti (EDD) has signed a framework agreement with French company Engie, for construction of 30 MW PV power plant in the Grand Bara region, south of Djibouti.
The pact was signed during a delegation of the French group met with Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh. The project will be the first large-scale solar power plant in the country.
The development is part of a much larger project: the construction of a 300 MW solar complex. A feasibility study is set to be conducted. Phase one of the project was initially awarded to Green Enesys, a Swiss company and the overall investment is expected to amount to US $406m.
Djibouti heavily depend on neighboring Ethiopia for 80% of its electricity requirements. Engie’s presence on the scene, however brings hope as the 30 MW to be produced will reduce the dependency.
The country aims to have 100% renewable and local energy by 2020. According to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Djibouti has the potential to generate over 300 MW from renewable energy sources. Its current installed power generation capacity is 126 MW all of which comes from thermal power sources.
The country is prioritizing its geothermal electricity generation programme but is also undertaking wind, solar and wave power projects. French firm Blue Shark Power is developing a 120-MW tidal power project. Several hundred megawatts of wind, solar geothermal and biomass capacity are planned to go online within 10 years.