A consortium including Enel Green Power, a subsidiary of Italian power giant Enel, and Ethiopian infrastructure company Orchid Business Group has won a 100MW(AC) solar tender floated by the utility Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP).
The firms, which will invest around US$120 million in the project, will develop, build and operate the PV capacity in Metehara, in the Oromia region, nearly 200 kilometres east of Addis Ababa.
Multiconsult, the firm responsible for the environmental and social impact assessment for the Metahara PV power plant, has said that it will be spread across 250 hectares of undeveloped land beside the main road between Addis Ababa and Djibouti. Meanwhile, Solar panels and other equipment will be transported by road or rail from the port in Djibouti.
EEP invited proposals in May 2016, before five firms were shortlisted for the technical and financial proposal stage. These included Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV), Meridiam-Solairedirect Consortium, Enel Green Power, The Building Energy Consortium, and CCE Oasis Technology Corporation.
The tender comes within the framework of the country’s Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP 2), which aims to add 12GW of hydro, wind, geothermal and solar capacity via the private sector by 2020.
Antonio Cammisecra, head of Enel Green Power, said: “Ethiopia has all the potential to become a key market for Enel’s strategy in Africa. The country has plenty of renewable sources that can generate energy at affordable rates thanks to modern green technologies. Additionally, Ethiopia boasts a stable regulatory framework, based on tenders and PPAs, and steady energy demand growth, which is also sustained by a long-term electrification plan. We are more than happy to invest in this country, with the aim of meeting its energy demand through our renewable energy expertise, helping to boost Ethiopia’s overall development while supporting local communities with our sustainability initiatives.”
The Metehara plant is expected to enter into operation in 2019 in order to generate roughly 280GWh of electricity per year. The solar park has a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with EEP for all of the energy generated.
Currently just 27.2% of Ethiopia’s population of 102 million has access to electricity, according to the World Bank.
Enel is also present in Zambia, where it has been awarded a 34MW solar project.
Earlier this month, EEP issued a request for qualification (RfQ) for two solar PV projects each with a capacity of 125MW(AC) to be structured through the World Bank’s ‘Scaling Solar’ programme and the deadline for applications is 21 November 2017.