The 50MW Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed solar power plant in Blitta, a prefecture, and town located in the Central Region of Togo has been commissioned officially in a ceremony graced by Faure Gnassingbé, the President of the West African Republic.
Delivered in record time, with just 18 months between the signing of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and commencement of commercial operations, the power plant is the country’s first utility-scale renewable energy project developed by an Independent Power Producer (IPP) i.e. AMEA Power, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi-based conglomerate AlNowais Investments, and one of the largest solar PV IPP plants in the West African region.
Financing for the project
It was pre-funded on a balance sheet and then refinanced. This is a unique model for large-scale IPP projects in the African continent. It is indicative of the level of project certainty created by the NDP’s regulatory framework, which provided AMEA Power with the necessary level of assurance and comfort to embark on the project’s execution well in advance of the financing being arranged.
The significance of the power plant
The Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed solar power plant will supply power to approximately 158,333 Togolese households per year, with 9% of energy generation feeding into the local Blitta distribution network. The 9% energy is reportedly enough to meet the electricity demand in the said area.
The power plant is also instrumental in supporting Togo’s US$ 8bn 2018 – 2022 National Development Plan (NDP), with which it aims to achieve universal access to electricity by 2030 and to increase the share of renewables in the energy mix to 50%.
Furthermore, the power plant will save more than 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions over the course of its life.