A clean power initiative of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has awarded a $780,000 preparation grant for a solar PV plant in Chad to a consortium including NewSolar Invest, a solar energy project developer, CIEC Monaco, an engineering company, and Arborescence Capital, an infrastructure and renewable energy project financing arranger.
The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) will cover the development of the first phase of the 40MW Starsol Chad project at N’Djamena, the first independent power producer (IPP) project to be connected to Chad’s national electricity grid, SEFA said in a statement.
SEFA said that the grant will cover the costs of technical assistance for the completion of the plant design and grid study as well as the legal fees related to the organisation of a bankable IPP.
Once the solar plant reaches completion, it will provide the country’s energy sector with a reliable power supply needed to reduce the current power outages, which are affecting economic growth and development.
The first phase will boost the current installed capacity by 45%, with a generating capacity of 64GWh per year, electrifying an estimated 16,871 local households and local businesses.
Chad’s energy mix
The PV project will add to the Central African country’s energy mix and support the government’s focus on developing renewable energy in the country with the aim of expanding electricity access to a population, which has an estimated 2% electricity access rate.
Back-up diesel powered generators are used frequently resulting in high electricity tariffs of $0.65 kWh.
According to SEFA, the solar power project not only forms part of the government’s plans but is also aligned with the African Development Bank’s Climate Change Action Plan 2011-2015 and Energy Policy, including the Bank’s strategy 2013-2022, which focuses on the dual objectives of inclusive and green growth in Africa.
About the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa
The AfDB describes SEFA as a multi-donor trust facility established to support private sector investments in small to medium sized clean power projects in Africa, operating through three components:
- Grants to facilitate the preparation of renewable energy generation and energy efficiency projects towards bankability
- Equity investments to bridge the financing gap for renewable energy generation projects
- Support to public sector in improving the enabling environment for private investments in sustainable energy.
SEFA also receives contributions from the Governments of Denmark, United States and the United Kingdom, and is hosted and managed by the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department of the AfDB.