- Niger will bring online a grid connected solar power plant with up to 50 MW capacity in the country under Scaling Solar program
- It will be a utility scale project to be developed and financed through private sector mobilization
- IFC will work with Niger’s Energy Ministry and national utility NIGELEC to tender and realize the project
The World Bank’s Scaling Solar program, through which it enables countries make use of their solar irradiance to diversify their power generation capacity and take steps to become self-sufficient in the space, has welcomed a new member nation. Africa’s Niger will undertake a project to realize up to 50 MW grid connected solar power capacity under the program.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with Niger’s government to work with the Ministry of Petroleum, Energy and Renewable Energy and national electricity utility Société Nigérienne d’Électricité (NIGELEC) for the project. Efforts will be made to attract private sector partners to develop, tender and finance the utility scale solar power project ‘quickly and affordably’.
The 50 MW project will be equivalent to around 20% of current installed power capacity of Niger, according to the IFC.
“Increasing access to clean energy is a priority for IFC in Africa because it improves quality of life and supports economic activity, poverty reduction, and job creation,” said IFC’s Vice President for the Middle East and Africa, Sérgio Pimenta. “The Scaling Solar program will make it faster, cheaper, and more transparent for Niger to procure utility-scale, private solar power with reputable independent power producers.”
Through Scaling Solar program, the IFC has been working with various nations – originally in Africa but later also beyond, such as in Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, among others. Of all the exercises conducted under Scaling Solar’s aegis, 2 projects have been commissioned so far, one each in Zambia and Senegal (see 60 MW Scaling Solar PV Capacity Commissioned In Senegal).