A 40MW project that is in line to become Chad’s first independent power producer-built solar project has been granted US$780,000 from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA).
The grid-connected Starsol project will be built near N’Djamena, the capital city of the Central African country.
SEFA, an arm of the African Development Bank funded by foreign donors, said the grant would finance costs related to technical assistance for the completion of the plant design and grid study, as well as advisors for legal and financial structuring of a bankable IPP.
Starsol Chad is being taken forward by a consortium of foreign firms that includes French solar project developer, NewSolar Invest, engineering company CIEC Monaco, and Paris-based financiers Arborescence Capital.
SEFA said successful completion of Starsol would increase the installed capacity in the N’Djamena area by 45%, helping address frequent power shortages that are hampering economic growth. The plant is expected to generate around 64GWh per year, supplying power to homes, business and public sector buildings.
Chad has identified the development of renewable energy capacity as a priority for the country. Only 2% of Chad’s population has access to power and electricity costs are high owing to a high dependency on expensive diesel-powered generators.
Earlier this year SEFA made a similar grant to pump-prime a 72MW PV power plant in Cameroon.
The opportunities and challenges for solar in Africa will be under discussion at Solar & Off-Grid Renewables West Africa on 21-22 April in Accra, Ghana. Hosted by PV Tech’s publisher, Solar Media, the event will feature a high-profile panel of speakers from industry and government. Further details are available here.