A World Bank supported solar and storage plant was inaugurated in the Central African Republic; Oikocredit funding RDG Collective’s off-grid solar business in Zambia; EGENCO constructing 10 MW solar power plant in Malawi.
Solar & storage solar plant in CAR: The President of the Central African Republic (CAR) Faustin-Archange Touadera recently inaugurated a 25 MW solar power plant in the country with a battery storage facility. The Danzi Solar Plant is located outside of the national capital Bangui in Danzi village. China’s Shanxi Construction Investment Group has built the project with 47,000 solar panels to provide electricity to 250,000 people in the capital. It will replace more than 90% of the energy produced by diesel fuel currently, and generate over $4 million/year for the National Electricity Company, according to the World Bank that has financed the project through a grant funding from the International Development Association (IDA). The World Bank is also supporting the development of the CAR’s electricity sector through the Electricity Sector Strengthening and Access Project (PARSE) that’s enabling electrification of the country outside the capital city with mini-grids and solar kits. The country aims to have close to 50% of its population to have access to electricity, up from 16% at present. In May 2023, the country brought online a 15 MW solar power plant (see Africa Solar PV News Snippets).
Oikocredit financing solar: The Netherlands-based social impact investor Oikocredit has agreed to a $2 million credit line to RDG Collective to support solar energy in Zambia. RDG provides pay-as-you-go (PAYG) off-grid solar solutions in Zambia targeting underserved households. It plans to use the new credit line to expand its services to an estimated 12,500 low-income locals to help them improve their living standards, increasing their earning potential, achieve greater dignity in their lives and own off-grid solar products. It offers a product loan for its products for which the customer can make PAYG repayments to receive power keycode entered into the battery system. Once the loan has been paid off, the customer can own the product. So far, the company has sold more than 20,000 energy devices and touched more than 100,000 lives.
10 MW solar plant in Malawi: The Electricity Generation Company (Malawi) Limited (EGENCO) has started the construction of a 10 MW solar power plant in Malawi’s Salima district. Its construction was launched by the country’s Energy Minister Ibrahim Matola. The project is scheduled for completion in 18 months with an investment of around $14 million. The power generated will be fed into the national grid. China’s Chint Electrical is the contractor of the project. In the 2nd phase, the utility plans to add another 10 MW capacity; however, the land is enough to host 50 MW capacity.