A consortium consisting of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, renewable energy IPP Globeleq, CIGenCo, Greenshare Energy, Greenshare Congo, Volt Renewables, and Nzuri Energy has agreed to develop a 100 MWac solar energy plant in Kolwezi, south-eastern DRC.
The renewable energy facility will sell power to DRC’s national utility Societe Nationale d’Electricite (SNEL) under a long term power purchase agreement (PPA). The solar plant will also support mining operations and economic activity in the Kolwezi region.
The project was originally developed by CIGenCo, Greenshare Energy, Greenshare Congo, Volt Renewables, and Nzuri Energy. IFC and Globeleq (as lead developer) have come on board to drive the project forward and help it reach completion.
According to IFC, the project underscores its commitment to early-stage, innovative energy projects and the government of DRC’s efforts to increase and diversify its electricity output. An estimated 19 percent of DRC’s population had access to electricity in 2019, according to World Bank data.
The IFC is providing up to $900,000 through its Collaborations and Co-development Financing Program towards the development of the project. The IFC will invest a further $900,000 from the Finland-IFC Blended Finance for Climate Program.
“We are excited to partner with IFC on this project and build upon the solid work of the original developers. The use of renewables will reduce emissions and decrease the cost of electricity in the region. Applying Globeleq’s experience in delivering renewable energy projects, we look forward to contributing to DRC’s economic development and supporting its clean energy transition,” said Jonathan Hoffman, Globeleq’s Chief Development Officer.
“Today, I am extremely proud and excited to be bringing seasoned international investors, IFC and Globeleq, to the DRC. The DRC urgently needs investment in its power sector to meet its increasing industrial demand and production deficit. Together with IFC and Globeleq, we will build a landmark power plant for the DRC that will catalyze its nascent independent renewable energy industry,” said Greenshare Congo DRC representative, Dr. Adolphe Ngoyi Kitengie.
“Ramping up energy production capacity in the DRC is essential to increasing economic growth and improving living standards in the country. IFC is proud to provide early-stage growth capital to this ground-breaking project, which will deliver clean and competitive power in a region where it is currently in limited supply,” said Sylvain Kakou, IFC Country Manager for Central Africa.
Construction of the solar plant is expected to begin in 2023 and should be completed within 12 months. Once complete, it will be among the largest solar PV projects in the DRC.