Saudi Arabian energy and water company ACWA Power has been awarded two 125 MW solar photovoltaic projects by the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance.
ACWA Power won the bid for the plants during the first round of Ethiopia’s solar programme. Following the win ACWA Power and Ethiopia Electric Power (EEP), the state-owned electricity producer, as well as the Ministry of Finance, signed a letter of intent earlier this month.
Before the end of the year they will sign a long-term power purchase agreement for the projects at $2.52 cents/kWh over 20 years.
With a combined capacity of 250 MW, the projects will contribute in addressing the current energy shortfall, as well as diversifying the energy mix in Ethiopia, where the government is currently working to increase the electricity generation capacity of the country from 4300 MW today to 17,300 MW by 2020.
The two solar projects that were tendered in April 2019 are estimated to power 750,000 homes and offset 320,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
The plants will be located in Dicheto, in the Afar region, and in Gad, in the Somali region of the country.
Paddy Padmanathan, ACWA Power chief executive, said: “It is a remarkable achievement to have been selected to deliver these projects, the first to be tendered under the new public-private partnership framework in Ethiopia. We welcome the opportunity to help the country realise its incredible renewable resource potential and deliver significant economic, social and environmental value. At ACWA Power, we firmly believe that reliable, safe delivery of power and water is the first step to developing future-ready economies, and we will be playing our part in ensuring Ethiopia and its people to unlock their full potential”.
ACWA Power was selected as the winning bid out of 12 pre-qualified bidders. While these solar projects will be ACWA Power’s first venture in Ethiopia, the company already operates in Africa with solar assets in Morocco, South Africa and Egypt.