South African based GSC Energy will commence construction on a 500MW solar photovoltaic (PV) park in Q3 of 2015 in the northern region of Cameroon, Business Daylive reported.

This follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between GSC Energy and the government of Cameroon in 2013. The project, which has been through various financial and feasibility studies until now is led by GSC Energy consortium including Austrian Sun Value, South African Tricom Structures and Conco.

Founder and Chair of the power company Steven Moti told media on Monday that the project would generate 3 000-4 000 jobs in both South Africa and Cameroon, with 20%-30% of materials being sourced from South Africa and the remainder from China.

Cameroon has a total installed generation capacity of 1 500MW of which 60% is generated via hydroelectric power. This resource is vulnerable to climate change and a lack of water has necessitated linking expensive and dirty emergency power generators to meet demand.

The solar park is estimated to increase power generation by 50%, enough power to electrify an additional 50 000 homes and save 70 000 metric tonnes of CO2 a year.

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Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl has been working in the African power, energy and water sectors since 2011, first with African Utility Week and now as the Editor of ESI Africa. She is also an Advisory Board member of the Global and African Power & Energy Elites publications. With her passion for sustainable business and placing African countries on the international stage, Nicolette takes a keen interest in current affairs and technology trends.

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