Ncondezi Energy explores potential for 300MW solar-storage hybrid in Mozambique

An existing 40MW solar project in Mocuba, Mozambique. Image: Scatec.

African power company Ncondezi Energy has launched a feasibility study for a hybrid solar-storage project earmarked for Mozambique.

The feasibility study is to assess the potential for a solar project with a generation capacity of up to 300MW to be paired with a battery energy storage system (BESS) in Tete, the African nation’s capital.

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Ncondezi is also continuing work on a proposed coal-fired power station in the same area, having signed a development agreement with Chinese engineering company China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) in 2019.

Led by engineering services company WSP, the study will explore the feasibility for a project to be developed within three preferred sites already identified by Ncondezi. Those locations all fall within the Ncondezi mining concession, an area which covers more than 25,000 hectares with the potential to host in excess of 5GW of solar PV.

Each site identified by Ncondezi Energy could host around 500MW of solar PV each, however the feasibility study will assess the land on a modular design basis, studying the potential for a scaled PV development programme of 30MW, 60MW, 100MW, 200MW and 300MW.

The prospective project would be positioned as such to leverage “existing advanced stage development work” linked to a proposed 300MW thermal power plant that, Ncondezi said, could be “easily transitioned to the solar project”.

By taking advantage of existing preparation works, Ncondezi expects to not only reduce development costs but also export power to Mozambique’s grid quicker, with the intent being to export by 2024 – some six to 12 months ahead of what would have been possible.  

The company said it expects the study to take around four months to complete and, according to CEO Hanno Pengilly, a resultant project is expected to attract a “broad range of investors”.

The mooted solar project for Ncondezi comes just after a year after its renewables subsidiary Ncondezi Green Power signed a joint venture with South African EPC NESA to target C&I solar and energy storage markets in South Africa.

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