UNHCR to build 10 solar PV systems in Kenya, Uganda & Ethiopia

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United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a United Nation (UN)’s agency mandated to aid and protect refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people, and to assist in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country, is set to construct 10 ground-mounted solar PV systems in three East African countries particularly in Kenya, Uganda & Ethiopia.

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This is after the agency, through its Green Fund launched a call for tenders for the implementation of the project which upon completion will deliver power plants with capacities ranging from 60 kWp to 500 kWp and expandable to a capacity of 1.8 MW. It is planned that each new PV system will be installed in combination with batteries and/or residual diesel generation. All sites will also include a back-up diesel system.

Application for the tender

According to the UNHCR, interested Independent Power Producers (IPPs) have until November 30th, 2020 to express their interest. The criteria for expression of interest will focus on the experience, expertise, capacity, and financial resources required to implement the proposed projects.

Following the expression of interest will be a call for tenders from the short-listed bidders, which is expected to begin early next year. The United Nations (UN) agency stated that consortia bids will be allowed, subject to specific qualification criteria.

The selected companies will then be required to sign Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) or comparable lease agreements with the UNHCR, where they are better adapted to local regulatory frameworks.

Other parties behind the envisaged project

The UNHCR is backed up by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the German cooperation agency in the development of the envisaged project.

To this point, the UN agency has already conducted a feasibility analysis on potential sites and has commenced legal and technical work to prepare for the tender’s next phases.