Enel Group's renewable arm Enel Green Power started construction of the 34 megawatts Ngonye solar PV plant, which is the Group's first power plant in Zambia, the company announced on Wednesday.
Once fully up and running, the PV facility is expected to produce around 70 gigawatt hours per year, avoiding the annual emission of over 45,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, the company said.
Enel will be investing approximately $40 million in the construction of Ngonye solar facility located in the southern Zambia, which will be partly funded through a financing agreement signed with Zambia’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).
In June, the Enel Group signed with IDC a financing agreement of around $34 million for the construction of the PV plant, involving senior loans of up to $10 million from the International Financing Corporation (IFC), up to $12 million from the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program and up to $11.75 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The facility, which is expected to enter into operation in the first quarter of 2019, is supported by a 25-year power purchase agreement with Zambia’s state-owned utility ZESCO.
"The start of construction of Ngonye solar plant is a new milestone in the strengthening of the Enel Group’s presence in the African continent, where we already are the first private renewable operator in terms of installed capacity,” Antonio Cammisecra, Head of Enel’s Global Renewable Energies Division, Enel Green Power, was quoted as saying.
“Ngonye, with its clean, sustainable and reliable power, will play a significant role in helping Zambia to meet its electrification goals, demonstrating once again that renewable utility-scale power plants are the most effective solution to give access to electricity in the continent,” he continued.
By Ebru Sengul