Ethiopia awards 300MW solar project contract to US firms

solar ethiopia-Joe Zlomek sxc.huEthiopia plans to boost its electricity capacity from 2,000MW to 10,000MW within the next three to five years. (Image source: Joe Zlomek/sxc.hu)Ethiopia has awarded two US firms a contract to build, operate and transmit three solar power sites, that is expected to generate upto a total of 300MW in the country’s eastern region

Without disclosing the contract value offered to Global Trade and Development Consulting (GTDC) and Energy Ventures, Alemayehu Tegenu, minister of water and energy, said, “This project represents a significant advance in our Ethiopian energy initiative and is now part of our comprehensive energy plan.”

Yonnas Kefle, chief executive of GTDC, said that his company has spent months analysing the potential for the large-scale project.

“We found that Ethiopia has some of the highest solar irradiance factors in Africa. As with all our projects, we intend to also maximise the amount of local content and resources in performance of this project,” he added.

Ethiopia plans to boost its electricity capacity from 2,000MW to 10,000MW within the next three to five years and has commissioned several power projects to ease dependence on hydropower.

Some of the projects include the US$290mn Ashegoda Wind Farm, the 6,000MW Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam, wholly-funded by the Ethiopian government at a cost of US$4.8bn and scheduled for completion in 2017, and a 1,000MW geothermal facility south of capital Addis Ababa.

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