A 50MW solar power plant is set to be developed in Angola by a joint venture between Italian Oil Company, Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (ENI) and Sonangol, the Angolan national oil company to build the power plant. The solar plant will be located in the province of Namibe, southwest of the country, known more for its aridity than for its oil resource wealth.
According to ENI, phase one of the project will see construction of a 25MW plant that is projected to reduce diesel consumption by an estimated 13,500 cubic metres per year, reducing electricity production costs and greenhouse gas emissions by about 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Phase two will follow with construction of the remaining 25MW plant.
“ENI’s commitment to the development of renewable energy projects is one of the main pillars of the company’s decarbonisation strategy, which also includes reducing direct greenhouse gas emissions in all its activities”, said Luca Cosentino, Executive Vice President of the Energy Solutions Department at ENI.
Angola’s development strategy
Construction of the solar power plant in Namibe province will also support the Angolan government’s plan to move away from “all oil”. In September 2019, João Baptista Borges, Angola’s Minister of Energy and Water, announced a plan to install 30,000 off-grid solar photovoltaic plants to produce 600 MWp, particularly in rural areas by 2022.
The projects, is also part of the country’s new development strategy, would give a much-needed boost to renewables in a nation which has only 14MW of non-hydro clean energy generation capacity, all of it off-grid. Angola’s renewable energy plan is targeting 800MW of capacity, including wind and biomass.