• Zambia’s 100 MW solar power tender has been auctioned to 3 consoritums winning a total of 120 MW capacity
  • Interestingly, none of the well-known internationally active big developers/EPCs won the tenders
  • Winning bids came from the joint ventures of 3 consortiums - Building Energy-Pele Energy, Globeleq-Aurora Power Solutions, and Innovent-CEC; all the joint ventures will develop the capacity as 2x20 MWac
  • Some of the winning projects are likely to use bifacial solar panels, and all of them will use trackers
  • 2 additional consortiums have been added in the reserve category who may be called upon in case the winning consortiums are unable to bring the projects to fruition

A favourable response to the 100 MW Zambian solar tender launched under the GET FiT Zambia program has led the African country to award 20 MW more to 3 consortiums out of a total of 10 bidders shortlisted (see RFP Launched For 100 MW Zambian PV Tender). The three winning consortiums are:

  • 1st award: Joint venture of Building Energy & Pele Energy will develop 2×20 MWac projects, namely Bulemu East & West for a tariff of $0.03999 per kWhac.
  • 2nd award: Joint venture of Globeleq & Aurora Power Solutions will set up 2×20 MWac Aurora Sola One & Two projects for a tariff of $0.0452 per kWhac.
  • 3rd award: Joint venture of InnoVent & CEC to work on 2×20 MWac Garneton North & South Solar for a winning bid of $0.0480/kWhac.

All the winners will use trackers and some of them may also opt for bifacial solar panels. Together all this capacity is expected to generate 360 GWh of clean energy in the first year of production. The winners beat heavyweights Enel Green Power, Engie, Scatec Solar, among others (see 10 Bidders Shortlisted For 100 MW Zambia Tender).

The GET FiT Investment Committee said the award wasn’t based on price alone, but assessed on a total combined technical and financial score. Interestingly, in addition to the above bidders, 2 unnamed consortiums that bid for 40 MWac each, have been awarded what it calls ‘reserve’ status. This means these consortiums may be called if any of the awarded consortiums are unable to either meet pre-established timeframes and/or meet compliance requirements.

It is important to recognize that these tariff results represent a truly competitive outcome. Not only were developers required to find and acquire their own suitable sites and pay for shallow grid connection, but GET FiT Zambia has offered no form of grant financing, nor has it arranged for concessional finance,” explained Ryan Anderson, the team leader of Tender Agent which is Multiconsult.

Zambia says this is the largest single solar PV tender implemented in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to date outside of South Africa, and the first time a tariff below $0.04 per kWh has been achieved through a public tender in SSA.

GET FiT Zambia is a partnership between the Department of Energy and the German Development Bank KfW, and is implemented by the GET FiT Secretariat staffed by Multiconsult.