Argentine conglomerate Alcaal Group has signed an MoU with Chad’s Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Energy for a 200MW solar PV with a battery storage component located near the capital city of N’Djamena.
The company had visited Chad at the beginning of August to discuss the prospects for investing in the country’s agribusiness and renewable energies, Idriss Déby, the central African country’s president, announced.
The agreement concerns feasibility studies for the construction, operation and maintenance of a solar photovoltaic power plant with a capacity of up to 200MW with storage on the outskirts of N’Djamena.
In early July, the United Nations Development Programme launched the “Sun Health” project in the country to address the lack of a reliable source of energy in Chad. Only 6.4% of the Chadian population has access to reliable electricity.
The UN initiative, supported by funding of approximately $3 million, aims to install solar panels in 150 health centres in the country.
Chad had an installed solar capacity of 1MW at the end of 2019, according to figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
While the US Agency for International Development estimates the landlocked country has only 125MW of total power generation capacity, the bulk of which is diesel and heavy fuel oil which mainly serves N’Djamena.
Solar PV to power up Chad
Meanwhile, on 22 July, the Minister of State, Minister Secretary General of the Presidency, Kalzeubé Payimi Deubet, laid the foundation stone for the construction of a photovoltaic solar power plant in Kalam-kalam, also near N’Djamena.
The installation will be built by the National Electricity Company (SNE) and is the first phase of the Solar Energy Project for Rural Development in Chad programme. Construction work on the solar power plant is anticipated to officially begin in January 2021.
The installation will consist of interconnected solar panels connected to several inverters. The energy generated by the park will be fed into a small grid via a lift station.
The system will consist of two transformers that will allow the electricity to be transported and distributed over a 33kV, 82km transmission line.
The implementation of the Solar Energy Project for Rural Development in Chad is expected to last one year. It will be 87% financed with a loan from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
The remaining 13% will be shared between the Chadian State through the SNE (11%) and the Kingdom of Morocco through the National Office of Electricity and Water (ONEE), 2%.