Solenova, a joint venture equally owned by Italian energy giant Eni, and Angola’s Sonangol has started construction on a 50 MW solar energy plant in Caraculo, in the Namibe province of Angola. The facility will be Angola’s first solar photovoltaic power plant.
The renewable energy plant is being constructed in two phases, with 25 MW capacity being constructed for the first phase of the project. Italian multinational oilfield services company, Saipem, will be responsible for the construction services of the project.
Electricity produced from the solar energy will be dispatched to Angola’s southern territory grid. The solar plant will contribute to the reduction of diesel consumption for the generation of electricity, and will support the energy transition and diversification of the energy matrix in Angola, particularly in the southern region.
In terms of environmental benefits in specific, Caraculo’s photovoltaic plant will be able to avoid 50 KtCO2eq of GHG emissions per year.
Solar plant to help Angola meet electrification targets
According to Eni, the solar energy plant aligns with “Angola Energy 2025”, Angola’s long term plan for the energy sector whose main goal is to increase the country’s installed electricity generation capacity to 9.9 gigawatts (GW), and achieve an electrification rate of 60% by 2025.
“It (the project) will also contribute to the achievement of the goals of Angola’s Government “Action Plan of the Energy and Water sector 2018 – 2022” that establishes, for the medium term, a target of additional 500 MW of additional renewables energy (Solar, Eolic, biomass and Mini-Hydro) by 2022, with a specific focus on utility scale solar projects. The project is also in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 7: access to clean and affordable energy,” said Eni.
Angola currently has an installed electricity generation capacity of just over 6 000 MW and an electrification rate of around 45%. The country currently depends mainly on oil, gas and hydropower to meet its electricity needs.