Solar PV
French solar tracker development Optimum Tracker Company opens agency in Johannesburg, South Africa. Pic Credit: Optimum Tracker
Solar PV
IFC and Nigeria’s Alten’s Middle Band Solar One will co-develop a 120MW solar PV project in Nigeria. Pic Credit: Optimum Tracker

In West Africa, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a subsidiary of the World Bank Group, has signed a joint development agreement with Nigerian Alten’s Middle Band Solar One to co-develop a 120MW capacity peak solar photovoltaic (PV) power project with a consortium of local developers.

Solar plant consortium

The consortium consists of Alten Renewable Energy Developments Africa, B.V., Green Continent Partners Holding B.V. and Nemoante.

According to the IFC statement, the renewable energy project to be located in Lokoja, Kogi State, is expected to supply electricity to approximately 175,000 people and nearby industrial clusters as well as support job creation.

The IFC said: “Under the agreement, IFC InfraVentures and IFC’s Global Infrastructure Project Development Fund will provide development funding and commercial and technical support to a developer consortium to co-develop the solar power project via the Middle Band Solar One project company,” the release stated.

The project is said to be the IFC’s first solar project in Nigeria and is anticipated to have a significant impact in the region and encourage private sector participation.

In addition the project is expected to support the growth of renewable energy and ease the high dependence on gas-fired power generation.

Fast-tracking the energy mix

Luis Castellanos, CEO of Alten Africa, commented: “We are proud to lead one of the biggest solar projects in Africa.”

He added “From Alten, we’ll contribute our experience in the design, development, funding, construction and management of utility-scale photovoltaic power plants.

“Developing this project fits with our strategy to provide access to power for the millions of people who currently have low or no access to electricity, especially in developing economies.”

The solar project will enable Nigeria to fast-track its strategy of diversifying its energy mix, said Eme Essien Lore, IFC country manager for Nigeria.

Essien Lore said: “The World Bank Group’s core focus is to support the development of infrastructure in the country.

“This project supports our commitment to the Federal Government of Nigeria under our Energy Business Plan, a comprehensive World Bank Group approach to support each segment of the energy value chain in the country.”

Lore continued: “IFC InfraVentures allows us to get involved in the project at a relatively early stage and collaborate with our partners to ensure that the project meets the highest technical and environmental standards.

“Through this project, IFC is also supporting the Federal Government’s strategy to add more renewable energy generation, especially solar, to the energy mix in Nigeria.”

The project is expected to reach financial close by the fourth quarter of 2016.