Scatec’s Release to expand Cameroon solar-plus-storage projects

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Release by Scatec will expand its Maroua and Guider projects, which it commissioned in 2023. Image: Release by Scatec.

Release, the distributed power arm of Norwegian renewable energy company Scatec, has unveiled plans to add 28.6MW of solar capacity and 19.2MWh of battery energy storage systems (BESS) to its portfolio in Cameroon.

The company has signed two new lease agreements with ENEO, a partially state-owned electricity company in Cameroon, to expand its Maroua and Guider projects, which it commissioned last September. The expansion will increase the size of Release’s Cameroonian portfolio to 64.6MW of solar capacity, alongside 38.2MWh of batteries, and follows a US$26 million investment made into the projects.

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“This extension is a testimony to the success of the initial projects and to the benefits provided by our innovative offering,” said Release CEO Hans Olav Kvalvaag. “By increasing the installed capacity in the country, we are reaffirming our collaboration with ENEO and our commitment to Cameroon as a key market for our solutions.”

The two projects were initially developed alongside African engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firms Izuba Energy and Sphinx Energy. The next round of expansion work will be partially funded by Climate Fund Managers, a Dutch investment group, which reached an agreement to provide Release with US$102 million in financing last July, in exchange for a 32% ownership stake.

Release aims to provide flexible leasing for pre-assembled solar modules and battery storage facilities, and its continued work in the African solar and storage sectors is an important proof of concept for Scatec. Cameroon’s energy industry is heavily reliant on waste and fossil fuels, with the International Energy Agency (IEA) reporting that, in 2021, biofuels and waste accounted for 55.3% of the country’s domestic energy production, while crude oil accounted for 27.3%.

The news follows South Africa’s commissioning of the continent’s largest solar-plus-storage plant, with a solar generation capacity of 540MW, earlier this year, as interest in the African solar-plus-storage sector grows.

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