Masdar is exploring the Ethiopian solar market to develop PV projects with a combined capacity of 500 MW, under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Government of Ethiopia.
The Abu Dhabi based renewable energy company made the announcement on social media saying the agreement signed at the Ethiopian Prime Minister’s office, will see Masdar also working on related grid infrastructure. The partners will take up development, financing, design, EPC, testing, commissioning of the projects along with operation and maintenance of the PV projects, local media reported.
The partners are looking at bringing this 500 MW capacity online in 2022, and for these projects they will be sharing additional plans for signing power purchase agreements (PPA) and other agreements in late 2021.
With an eye on utility scale and distributed solar and wind energy in Egypt and Africa, Masdar had launched Infinity Power under a joint venture with Infinity Energy a year back in January 2020 (see Masdar & Infinity Eye African RE Market).
Dependent on hydropower for a majority of its energy needs, Ethiopia is interested in diversifying its energy generation sources to bring universal access to electricity for all its denizens by 2025, under its National Electrification Program.
With the help of World Bank, Ethiopia is also setting up utility scale solar power capacity through companies selected through an international competitive bidding process under the former’s Scaling Solar initiative. In September 2019, Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power won the 250 MW Scaling Solar auction for Ethiopia with a winning bid of $0.02526 per kWh, the lowest in Africa and one among the lowest globally back then (see Ethiopia Selects ACWA Power For 250 MW Solar Capacity).
Another tender in Ethiopia launched under Scaling Solar was initially for 500 MW capacity, and was in May 2019 scaled up to 750 MW (see Scaling Solar Ethiopia Tender Now 750 MW).