ALTEN Africa has completed the financing of what will be one of the biggest photovoltaic solar power plants in Namibia and Sub Sahara Africa.
Located in the area around Mariental, the installed capacity will be 45.5 MWp for an output of 37 MWac, an investment forecast of US$70 million and a useful life of over 25 years.
The plant will use around 140,000 crystalline silicon panels mounted on solar trackers and will be of the most efficient in the world due to the zone’s very high radiation levels.
It was put out for tender by NamPower, the country’s state-owned electricity company, which also holds a 19% stake. The power produced by the new plant will meet 3% of the country’s energy needs.
ALTEN Africa has a majority stake (51%) in the investment vehicle (ALTEN Hardap), in which NamPower also has a stake (19%), together with local investors First Place, Mangrove and Talyeni (30%) led by eight Namibian women. They are professionals and businesswomen, aged between 35 and 55, who have seen in this project an opportunity to acquire know-how and to invest in cutting-edge technologies that will drive forward their country’s economic growth.
ALTEN Africa, a wholly-owned affiliate of ALTEN Energías Renovables, which focuses its activity on emerging countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, closed a deal at the beginning of the year with Inspired Evolution, whose fund Evolution II will initially co-invest US$36 million to drive the development of this independent power producer (IPP) in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Once it starts commercial operations, scheduled for September 2018, around 112GWh of clean electricity will be uploaded onto Namibia’s national grid, enough to meet the annual electricity needs of over 70,000 Namibians. The plant will also avoid the emission into the atmosphere of 33,000 metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent, during every year of its useful life.
Namibia has one of the best electricity infrastructures in Africa and a high level of electrification, but it is also very dependent on imported energy. The new infrastructure will make the country’s energy mix more balanced and reduce its energy dependency on other countries in the region by nearly 5%.
“This achievement builds on the solid commitment being made by ALTEN Energías Renovables to Sub-Saharan Africa. We expect to have excellent results over the next few years, thanks to the support of Inspired Evolution, which gives ALTEN Africa a specialist partner with a team that has experience in the regional market and a track record of close to 1 GW, in clean energy infrastructure investments,” said Juan Laso, Executive President of ALTEN Energías Renovables.
Luis Castellanos, CEO of ALTEN Africa, added: “We will be proud to work with NamPower and our local partners on this challenge and we are sure that, in a question of months, it will demonstrate the enormous potential of PV technology to meet the area’s energy needs.”