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  • Partnership promises clean energy for off-grid Kenyans
  • Karusa and Soetwater wind farms start construction
  • 40MW solar power plant to be built in Tshopo, DRC
  • Two solar PV projects to alleviate loadshedding in Zambia
  • ENGIE Africa completes construction of 262.5MW wind farm in Egypt
  • ESWATINI: 13 IPPs pre-selected for an 80 MW solar and biomass project
  • Zimbabwe: 600MW Hwange Project On Course
  • SENEGAL: Part of Taïba Ndiaye wind farm to be commissioned in December 2019
  • Nordgold to add solar with storage at Burkina Faso mines
  • Kenergy Renewables to build a 40-megawatt solar power plant in Rumuruti
  • SOUTH AFRICA: Electricity production will be more eco-friendly in 2020-2030
  • Progress at three projects in Cameroon reduce power cuts
  • EGYPT: SES partners with government on 250 MW concentrated solar project
  • Mozambique: Construction of 1,500MW Mphanda Nkuwa hydroelectric dam commences
  • AfDB requests research to promote creation of “green” banks
  • TOGO: Government plans to install mini grids in 14 villages
  • Morocco: 100% solar school opened in Africa’s first solar village
  • Unit II of Olkaria V geothermal power plant is operational
  • Namibia: Sertum Energy puts Trekkopje solar power plant (5 MW) into operation
  • Construction of US$8.6m mini hydro power station in Zambia completed

  • Partnership promises clean energy for off-grid Kenyans

    A new partnership has been unveiled aiming to expand clean energy accessibility and tackle unsustainable battery waste in Kenya by repurposing old battery packs. Project partners include Aceleron, the UK developer of sustainable and reusable battery solutions, and Total Access to Energy Solutions (TATES), both of which are committed to providing off-grid Kenyans with cleaner and more affordable power. The first stage of this unique project will see Aceleron convert TATES and its partners’ waste lithium-ion battery cells into repairable, upgradable and affordable long-cycle reusable battery packs to bring cleaner power to more than 800 people in off-grid communities across Kenya and the surrounding area including Benin, Rwanda and Libya. TATES will provide lithium-ion waste material from its solar lanterns scheme – a project providing light to Kenyans without electricity access and with low incomes. It will also use its network to encourage other companies to contribute their battery waste to the project.


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    Karusa and Soetwater wind farms start construction

    Enel, through its renewable subsidiary Enel Green Power RSA (EGP RSA), has started construction of the Karusa and Soetwater wind farms, with an installed capacity of 140MW each. According to a company statement, the plants, which are both located in South Africa's Karoo Hoogland District, Northern Cape province, are expected to be completed by the end of 2021. Karusa and Soetwater will involve an investment of over 200 million euros each. Once fully operational, Karusa and Soetwater are each expected to generate over 585 GWh annually, each avoiding the annual emission of around 611,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. The wind farms will be supported by a 20-year power supply agreement with the South African energy utility Eskom, in line with the Government’s Independent Power Producer (IPP) programme.


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    40MW solar power plant to be built in Tshopo, DRC

    The government of Tshopo province in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has recently signed an agreement with the company Cat Projects Africa to develop a 40MW solar power plant near the provincial capital Kisangani. According to Cat Projects, the photovoltaic solar power plant will be built on 65.5 hectares of land. It will consist of 155,000 solar panels that will be connected to 72 solar inverters that will use 36 transformers to feed the electricity produced into the National Electricity Corporation (Snel) grid. Louis-Marie Wale Lufungula, the Governor of Tsopo Province has lauded the construction of a Kisangani solar photovoltaic power plant and said it will mark the beginning of the end of darkness in our province, particularly in the city of Kisangani. At the end of a year of work, the city will be fully serviced with electricity and many other projects will see the light of day.


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    Two solar PV projects to alleviate loadshedding in Zambia

    Spanish-Japanese renewable energy business group Univergy Solar is set to invest more than $200 million in two solar power projects in Zambia. The development will add 200MW to the country’s national grid in 2020, the government informed media. This renewable capacity will help alleviate loadshedding in the country. Univergy Solar will develop and implement a 135MW project in northern Zambia and another 65MW project in Zambia’s Copperbelt, the Zambian embassy in Tokyo said in a statement. According to Reuters, the Japanese firm will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Zambian government to start work on the projects in the first quarter of 2020. The two projects are expected to be completed between six and eight months. “The solar power project will be implemented in collaboration with a Zambian company and is expected to create hundreds of jobs and business opportunities for local firms engaged to maintain the solar farms and generation plants,” the statement said.


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    ENGIE Africa completes construction of 262.5MW wind farm in Egypt

    Independent energy producer, ENGIE Africa has announced that construction and commissioning of the 262.5MW Ras Ghareb wind farm in Egypt is complete 45 days ahead of schedule. The wind farm is now fully connected to the grid and is ready for commercial operation at maximum capacity. The project company, Ras Ghareb Wind Energy SAE is owned by ENGIE (40%) and its consortium partners Toyota Tsusho Corporation/Eurus Energy Holdings Corporation (40%) and Orascom Construction (20%). The wind farm is located near Ras Ghareb on the Gulf of SUEZ, an optimal site with about 60% of gross capacity factor. The energy is sold under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC). The total investment cost of the project is approximately $380 million.


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    ESWATINI: 13 IPPs pre-selected for an 80 MW solar and biomass project

    Thirteen independent power producers (IPPs) have been pre-selected for the implementation of a 40 MWp solar project and the construction of biomass solar power plants with a combined capacity of 40 MW in the Kingdom of Eswatini. The aim of this project is to reduce the country's dependence on imports of electricity from South Africa. The Eswatini Energy Regulatory Authority (ESERA) has recently made public the list of 13 independent power producers (IPPs) pre-selected for the implementation of two renewable energy projects in the Kingdom of Eswatini. These are the construction of solar photovoltaic plants capable of supplying 40 MWp to the grid, as well as biomass plants with a combined capacity of 40 MW.Among the companies pre-selected by the public body responsible for managing the energy sector are global corporate giants such as the French company Engie, which is expanding in Africa with projects under development in Egypt, Senegal and Djibouti. Engie wants to work on this project with GreenYellow, the subsidiary of the French group Casino. There is also EDF Renouvelables, a subsidiary of Électricité de France (EDF).


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    Zimbabwe: 600MW Hwange Project On Course


    Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) is on course to complete the Hwange Expansion Project by January 2022, with progress currently at 23,2 percent. This is contained in the company's Third Quarter update released yesterday. "Despite the challenges being faced, the ZPC has been embarking on several efforts to increase power generation and we are currently working on Hwange Expansion Project, which shall provide the nation with an additional 600MW come January 2022," said the firm. "The billion dollar project reached its first anniversary this quarter on August 1. Progress has been satisfactory and on schedule at 23,2 percent by the end of the third quarter." ZPC said some of the works being carried out include design reviews, construction of employee's accommodation, Units 7 and 8 construction, project site clearance works by ZPC and preliminary transmission works. "ZPC is also focusing on the existing coal plants as a way to augment power generation and the re-powering of Bulawayo Power Station is going to be the first to be executed," it said.


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    SENEGAL: Part of Taïba Ndiaye wind farm to be commissioned in December 2019


    The countdown is on… The Senegalese people are eager to enjoy the first megawatts from the Taïba Ndiaye wind farm. In December 2019, it will provide the first 50 MW to be fed directly into the national electricity grid. According to the general manager of Lekela Senegal, Massaer Cissé (quoted in 24 news magazine), “Fifty megawatts will be injected into the grid of Senelec, the national company, thanks to 16 wind turbines during the first phase”. (Lekela is the British company that is implementing this project, editor’s note.) Ten months after the start of construction work on this building, the engineers stated that they had already installed nearly half of the turbines required for the total installation of this plant. The work is scheduled to be completed in April 2020. On that date, the plant will have a total capacity of 158 MW and a total of 46 turbines with a 180-metre height.


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    Nordgold to add solar with storage at Burkina Faso mines


    Moscow-based gold producer Nord Gold SE will have a 13-MW solar photovoltaic (PV) farm with battery storage installed at the company’s Bissa and Bouly mines in Burkina Faso. The miner, also known as Nordgold, said Tuesday it entered into an exclusive agreement for the project with a consortium comprising French independent power producer Total Eren SA and Africa Energy Management Platform (AEMP), an equity investor based in Mauritius. Under the terms of the agreement, the consortium is to develop, finance, build and operate the solar-plus-storage system that will supply 100% renewable power for daily operations at the two mines. Nordgold said construction will commence shortly and finalise in the fourth quarter of 2020. The new power supply system will reduce fuel consumption at the mine sites by around 6.4 million litres per years, cutting carbon dioxide emissions by some 18,000 tonnes annually.


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    Kenergy Renewables to build a 40-megawatt solar power plant in Rumuruti


    A little more is known about the Kenergy Renewables Company’s solar photovoltaic project in Laikipia County, central Kenya. A framework agreement for this project has been signed between this independent power producer (IPP) and the Laikipia County Government. It plans to install the solar photovoltaic power plant in the Rumuruti canton, the county’s capital. The local government has already guaranteed a plot of land of more than 121 hectares for the installation of the components of the solar power plant, which will have a production capacity of 40 MWp. According to Khilna Dodhia, Executive Director and co-founder of Kenergy Renewables Company, the construction of the solar power plant will take 10 months and will create “100 direct jobs among local populations during the construction phase. Once completed, 20 people will be employed to operate the facility”. He went on to say that Kenergy Renewables will “cover all production costs, while the county government will be required to provide the necessary assistance, including for the acquisition of permits for the solar power plant”.


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    SOUTH AFRICA: Electricity production will be more eco-friendly in 2020-2030


    South Africa will “green” its energy mix. The government has recently approved the Integrated Resource Plan, a 10-year energy policy, which provides for additional electricity production of 27.4 gigawatts (GW) in which the share of renewable energy (solar and wind) amounts to 20 GW. The new energy plan presented on the 18th of October 2019 by the South African Department of Energy (DOE) gives the lion’s share to wind energy. During the implementation period of this plan (2020-2030), the wind farms located will have to generate an additional 14.4 GW, an annual increase of 1.5 GW. As a result, wind capacity is expected to increase from around 1.98 GW currently to 17.7 GW by the end of the decade, representing 22.5% of South Africa’s energy mix. The second part of the “greening” of South Africa’s energy mix is based on solar energy. The DOE intends to develop an additional 6 GW of solar capacity by 2030. If these expectations are met, South Africa would then have 8.28 GW of photovoltaic solar energy on an industrial scale, which would represent 10.5% of its energy mix.


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    Progress at three projects in Cameroon reduce power cuts


    In Cameroon, the national electricity supply has been notoriously unreliable and subject to power cuts for many years. Now, three projects financed by the African Development Bank for $121.4 million in 2010-2011 are at last starting to provide Cameroonians with reliable electricity. Completion of work on transmission lines, line maintenance, and especially the replacement of wooden electricity distribution poles with concrete poles are all part of the system improvements, whose goal is to increase the quality and reliability of public access to electricity. The Lom Panga storage reservoir project is complete, but the dam’s generating plant is still under construction. In the meantime, two other power plants, Kribi and Dibamba, have begun working to strengthen Cameroon’s generating capacity. In November 2011, the African Development Bank awarded $62.9 million for the construction of Lom-Pangar, the hydroelectric generation’s ‘lungs’ in the country’s east region. The project included the construction of a reservoir (6 billion cubic meters of water retained) for regulating the Sanaga’s flow and optimising generation during low water periods at the Song Loulou plant (335MW) and the Edea plant (224MW).


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    EGYPT: SES partners with government on 250 MW concentrated solar project

    Five concentrated solar power plants will soon be installed in Egypt. It is the objective of a partnership established between Smart Engineering Solutions, a company based in Cairo, and the Egyptian Ministry of Military Production. Amount of the operation: $1.2 billion in Egypt. The money will first be used to set up a plant that will produce components for the construction of concentrated solar power plants. For the occasion, Smart Engineering Solutions and the Egyptian Ministry of Military Production are working with Hany Al-Nokrashy, an energy expert. A call for expressions of interest resulted in the selection of 16 companies. The selected one will work with both institutions, in particular to consolidate the technology needed to build solar power plants. It will also participate in the establishment of a plant that will produce equipment for the construction of the power plants within 12 months.

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    Mozambique: Construction of 1,500MW Mphanda Nkuwa hydroelectric dam commences

    Construction works on Mphanda Nkuwa hydroelectric dam located on the Zambezi River in Mozambique have officially kicked off. The Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Augusto Fernando, said that the works are to reinforce the amount of electricity being transported along the Tete-Maputo line. The deputy minister further disclosed that the Mphanda Nkuwa Hydroelectric Project Implementation Office now has a director and consultant who will review the whole project, designed in 2008 by several consortia. Fernando also said that the office will focus its activity on the feasibility analysis of the project based on environmental and hydrological impact studies, among other factors, and it is expected to be able to start and finish the construction of this project within an estimated period of five years.

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    AfDB requests research to promote creation of “green” banks

    The African Development Bank (AfDB) has commissioned a study for the establishment of national climate change funds and “green” banks in Africa. The study will be conducted by the Coalition for Green Capital (CGC) and will improve access to green finance in Africa. This may soon facilitate access to green finance in Africa. The Coalition for Green Capital (CGC) will conduct a study for the upcoming creation of a series of climate change funds and green banks for the African continent. This study is commissioned by the African Development Bank (AfDB), in partnership with the Climate Investment Fund (CIF). Once the results of this study are available, the AfDB will proceed with the creation of national climate change funds and green banks to provide financing to African states. The aim here is to make the financial resources necessary to fight climate change on the continent more easily available.


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    TOGO: Government plans to install mini grids in 14 villages

    Togo has announced its intention to electrify 14 rural areas of the country with off-grid solar energy. The initiative will be implemented with the support of the cartel council and will connect nearly 1000 households. Several other projects are underway or in preparation, with the aim of achieving 50% access to electricity in rural areas by 2030. “Our commitment to developing the off grid is reflected here in Togo. We are continuing its development in this country and in the other member states of the organisation.” It is in these terms that Patrice Kwamé, Executive Secretary of the Council of the Entente, unveiled the organisation’s plans for Togo. It plans to install off-grid solar panels in 14 villages in Togo. They are located in the central regions, Kara and the savannah, among others.

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    Morocco: 100% solar school opened in Africa’s first solar village

    Id Mjahdi, Africa's first solar village, located in northwestern Morocco, now has a school that is also powered by solar energy and 100% autonomous. The official opening of this educational centre took place on October 12, 2019, in the presence of the project partners. An additional asset for the Id Mjahdi solar village pilot project in the Essaouira region of northwest Morocco, the whole solar project is being carried out even within its educational framework. A fully solar-powered school was inaugurated on the 12th of October 2019. The Id Mjahdi Educational Centre consists of two classrooms, a sports field and a playground. It is dedicated to promoting pre-school education for children aged 4 to 5 in the village and neighbouring areas. The opening of this school marks a new stage in the development of the solar village of Id Mjahdi. The Moroccan complex, which was inaugurated on October 27, 2017, and in which all the infrastructure is powered by solar energy, is a first, not only for the kingdom, but also for the rest of the continent.

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    Unit II of Olkaria V geothermal power plant is operational

    The Olkaria V geothermal power plant is now fully operational! The information comes from the Italian group Steam, one of the companies in the SGC Geothermal consortium that worked on this project with Gesto Energy, a company based in Lisbon, Portugal. According to Steam, Unit II of the Okaria V geothermal power plant has already been commissioned. This allows this facility to supply a total of 160 MW of electricity. A quantity of energy that, according to Steam, is higher than the expected capacity of 154 MW. “We congratulate all those who participated in this great achievement. It strengthens Kenya’s commitment to renewable energy and to reducing carbon emissions and combating global warming,” says Steam. On this project, the company carried out the detailed design of the power plant, prepared the tender documents, evaluated the bids and supervised the construction and commissioning of the two units of the geothermal power plant.

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    Namibia: Sertum Energy puts Trekkopje solar power plant (5 MW) into operation

    The Trekkopje solar power plant has recently been commissioned. With a capacity of 5 MW, it was built by Sertum Energy Namibia, an independent power producer (IPP). This facility is located on a site that could produce 27 MW. The Namibian authorities recently visited Trekkkopje, a locality located 50 km from the seaside resort of Swakopmund, capital of the Erongo administrative region in the west of the country. The aim was to inaugurate the Trekkopje solar power plant, built by Sertum Energy Namibia, an independent power producer (IPP), a collaboration between the Italian company Enertronica and the Namibian businessman Elton Katangolo. According to Maurizio Decinti, the main consultant of the Trekkopje solar project, “this is the first power plant where trackers are mounted on the structures, allowing the modules to follow the movement of the sun during the day, thus optimising the already high irradiation”. The solar power plant has a production capacity of 5 MW.


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    Construction of US$8.6m mini hydro power station in Zambia completed

    Construction of US $8.6m mini hydro power station in Zambia has been completed. The Rural Electrification Authority revealed the report and said it is the first ever power station to be developed in Mwinilunga. “We are delighted to complete the construction of the Kasanjiku project because it is going to improve the quality of life and also highlight the massive potential that lies in the Northern Region of Zambia for electricity generation using mini hydro technology,” said REA Manager Corporate Affairs Justin Mukosa. Construction of the power station dubbed the ‘Kasanjiku project’ begun in 2016. It is located on the Kasanjiku River in Mwinilunga District in North Western Province and is set to improve the quality of life for beneficiaries in Chief Ntambu and Chief Sailunga’s area. Over 12,000 people are set to benefit. The 0.64MW project will electrify 11 schools, one Mission hospital, four Rural Health Centres, one Local Court and one Chief’s Palace.


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