EGP starts operation of 34 MW solar plant in Zambia

Enel Green Power (EGP), the Italian Enel Group’s global business line dedicated to renewable energy, has started operations of the 34 MW Ngonye solar PV plant, which is the Group’s first power plant in Zambia. The PV facility, which is located in Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone in the country’s south, is part of the World Bank Group’s Scaling Solar programme carried out by Zambia’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which awarded EGP in June 2016 the right to develop, finance, construct, own and operate the plant.
The Ngonye solar plant, which is owned by a special purpose vehicle 80 percent held by EGP and 20 percent by IDC, is supported by a 25-year power purchase agreement signed with Zambia’s state owned utility ZESCO. Once fully up and running, the facility is expected to produce around 70 GWh per year.
The Enel Group invested approximately $40 million in the construction of Ngonye. In June 2018, Enel signed a financing agreement with IDC of around $34 million, involving senior loans of up to $10 million from the International Financing Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, up to $12 million from the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program and up to $11.75 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Zambia’s government launched a series of initiatives to promote the development of renewables, with a particular focus on photovoltaic power, setting the goal of installing up to 600 MW of solar power within the next two to three years. In this framework, IDC launched a tender for the development of two PV projects with a total capacity of up to 100 MW structured according to the World Bank Group’s Scaling Solar programme, with the International Finance Corporation acting as advisor. At the same time, Zambia’s Government launched another tender for an additional 100 MW of PV to be awarded under the GET FiT solar framework.

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