Dubai firm to launch Uganda's largest private solar power plant

solarpanel-bartspeelman-flickrAccess Infra will set up a 10MW plant in Uganda, expected to be operational by 2016. (Image source: Bartspeelman/Flickr)Dubai’s Access Infra Africa is expected to launch the continent’s largest privately-owned solar plant in Uganda

In the East Africa nation, Access Infra Africa’s 10MW solar and wind power station will begin generating electricity later this year and will be the largest privately-owned solar power plant in Africa, said Access Infra Africa officials.

Netherlands-based development bank FMO and London-based Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, have procvided debt funding for 70 to 80 per cent of the project’s costs, with Access Infra Africa committing the remainder in equity.

Access Infra Africa will own and operate the plant for 20 years, selling power to Uganda’s national grid, while capacity may be increased to 40MW.

As part of plans to develop electricity projects in 17 African nations, Access Infra Africa will spend US$500mn on clean energy plants in countries such as Egypt, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique, revealed Reda el-Chaar, executive chairman of Access Power MEA.

“Solar power is no longer an exotic power solution, it’s becoming a real contender in any power generation mix,” Char added, “As far as power technology is concerned, solar power has made the biggest leap in the cost efficiencies in recent years.”

An International Energy Agency (IEA) report said that nearly 620mn people in sub-Saharan Africa or two thirds of the population lack access to electricity, and also predicted that energy demands would increase by 80 per cent by 2040.

Overall, the region’s power generation capacity will quadruple with renewable energy accounting for about 45 per cent of the energy mix, added the IEA report.

 

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