Egypt’s first private-to-private, power purchase agreement (PPA) driven rooftop solar system has been installed by Egyptian solar company, SolarizEgypt. The 1MW solar power system was connected in Sadat City for the Coca Cola Company. Under the PPA arrangement, SolarizeEgypt will sell the electricity generated to the soft drinks giant using Egypt’s net-metering rules for a period of 25 years.
“Blanketing the golden deserts of Egypt with solar panels and unlocking their massive energy potential,” was the dream of Yaseen Abdel Ghaffar, Managing Director of SolarizEgypt
The project was financed by the London based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) through its Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF), and backed by the Qatari-owned bank QNB Al Ahli. The two institutions were essential in facilitating the financing and implementation of Egypt’s first PPA based rooftop solar PV project.
Ownership of the solar system
SolarizEgypt will retain ownership of the solar PV system and sell the electricity produced to the Coca Cola Company to power its factory. The company will also ensure the plant performs at its maximum capacity and carry out regular monitoring and maintenance activities.
Financing of the project was achieved through a mix of equity and debt by the QNB Al Ahli Bank and the GEFF. This was done in order to reduce debt costs as this project was the first of its kind to be executed under such an arrangement in Egypt. SolarizEgypt also received the first net metering license in the country under the newly-established regulations.
“It was difficult for our company to bring on board local banks and convince them of the benefits of merging solar technology and financing, as it was seen as a risky investment,” says Mr Abdel Ghaffar. “The EBRD’s assistance came at the perfect time to help us grow.”
The GEFF team assisted SolarizEgypt by evaluating the technical and financial aspects of the project and aligning their proposal with the partner bank’s rules, making it technically feasible and eligible for GEFF finance.
Replicating the PPA model in the Egyptian market
The new PV plant gave Coca Cola access to cheaper electricity and with zero investment upfront, along with significant economic and environmental benefits including electricity savings and the creation of 15 sustainable jobs maintaining the PV systems for the next 25 years.
The project’s success will pave the way for the market to replicate this new model and stimulate appetite of other lenders to look at financing similar projects with other clients. SolarizEgypt was able to increase its business outlook, with over 14 MW of PV to be installed by the end of 2020. The environmental impact of the project annually is the equivalent of powering around 3,700 average households or saving the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of around 7,000 cars.
To date, SolarizEgypt has implemented seven PV system projects with GEFF support in different areas in the country, helping to save over 88,000 MWh of energy (equivalent to the annual GHG emissions of over 13,000 cars) and reducing CO2 emissions by more than 15,000.