The Khoumagueli Solar IPP project in Guinea has marked a significant milestone with the arrival of a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) signed between InfraCo Africa and Electricité de Guinée (EDG).
The PPA follows on from the signing of a Concession Agreement in February 2019.
The 40MWac Khoumagueli Solar project will be Guinea’s first grid-connected solar photovoltaic plant. The project is designed to complement power generation at the nearby 75MW Garafiri hydroelectric plant.
The facilities will combine to maximise delivery of renewable energy to the national grid, with Khoumagueli Solar expected to mitigate against the impact of fluctuating rainfall on hydropower generation at the Garafiri plant.
InfraCo Africa’s CEO, Gilles Vaes said: “The PPA signing is a key milestone for the Khoumagueli Solar project, which will deliver reliable, affordable power to Guinea’s homes and businesses. During these uncertain times, it is admirable that the teams involved have continued their work to achieve the signing of this important agreement.
“The signing demonstrates the ongoing commitment of EDG and the Government of Guinea to developing the country’s clean energy sector.”
The project is being developed by InfraCo Africa – which is part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) and Solveo Energie, Solvéo Energie, a subsidiary of Solvéo Company – with the support of Aldwych Africa Developments, in partnership with experienced French solar PV developer, Solvéo Energie.
The companies bring complementary skills and knowledge to the project. A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), named Khoumaguéli Solar S.A (the Project Company), has been established under Guinean law, with the purpose of developing and constructing the power plant.
Jean-Marc Mateos, President of the Solveo Group said: “The Khoumagueli Solar project contributes to the energy transition on the African continent. It combines photovoltaic solar energy with hydroelectricity produced in Guinea, reduces the need for thermal energy and reduces the cost of electricity.”
EPC procurement is at a mature stage, and initial discussions with lenders have begun.
Guinea’s energy plan
Guinea has a national electrification rate of 35.4%. Guinea’s existing electricity supply is largely derived from hydropower, which can be susceptible to seasonal fluctuations in rainfall: 84% of businesses report power outages causing financial losses equivalent to around 4.7% of annual sales.
Despite poor reliability, demand for power is expected to rise sharply due to a forecast expansion of the country’s mining industry and economic growth. The Government of Guinea has therefore prioritised the development of the energy sector as part of the country’s National Development Plan Economic and Social Council.
The government is also seeking to exploit Guinea’s solar power potential, to diversify the country’s energy mix and increase the availability and reliability of power.
The Government of Guinea has prioritised the development of the energy sector as part of the country’s National Development Plan Economic and Social Council (2016-2020). The government is specifically seeking to exploit Guinea’s solar power potential to diversify the country’s energy mix and increase the availability and reliability of power.
As one of Guinea’s earliest renewable IPP initiatives, Khoumagueli has used grant funding secured from PIDG’s Technical Assistance and from ADEME (Agence De l’Environnement et de la Maitrise de l’Energie) to support work to build government capacity to undertake renewable energy projects with the private sector.
Vaes stated: “InfraCo Africa is committed to delivering Paris-aligned power projects in frontier markets such as Guinea which are embarking upon a journey to private power generation and large scale renewables. We are also exploring other project opportunities in the country and look forward to deepening our involvement in Guinea.”