On Monday, the US Trade and Development Agency approved a $1.05 million grant to support a feasibility study and the related costs for Zambia's first wind power plant.
The funding was awarded to renewable power project developer, Access Power, and its strategic partner, EREN Renewable Energy.
The $275 million wind farm will generate around 500GWh of clean electricity, making it one of the largest renewable energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa and the first independent wind power plant in Zambia, a joint press release stated.
First wind power plant
USTDA's acting director, Thomas R. Hardy, said: “USTDA is pleased to support this important project that will help diversify Zambia's energy generation mix.”
Zambia primarily relies on hydropower for its energy needs, accounting for 96% of the country's electricity production.
However, in 2016 the Southern African country experienced a serious energy shortage due to the poor 2014-2015 rain season, which resulted in a steep drop in electricity production.
The country is now looking to diversify its generation mix to hedge itself against variations in rain levels. Read more...
Vahid Fotuhi, managing director of Access Power commented: “By bringing this pioneering project to fruition with the support of USTDA we aim to diversify Zambia's energy mix and tap into its vast clean energy power generation potential in order to help fuel its economy development and satisfy the urgent need for electrification.”
Vice-President, business development Africa at EREN RE, Christophe Fleurence, said: “The support from USTDA combined with our expertise and the favourable policy environment set by Zambia will deliver a landmark project for the country.
"This project positively illustrates how International cooperation between public and private sectors can accelerate Africa's development through access to clean sustainable energy.”
Featured image source: Stock