Africa-focused independent power company Globeleq, has announced that its 19 MWp Cuamba Solar PV Plant in Mozambique has started commercial operations. The plant comes with a 7MW energy storage capacity, and is the company’s first combined solar and storage plant in the South-Eastern African country.
Globeleq revealed that the project was constructed at an investment of US$36 million, and is the first greenfield project for the company in Mozambique. The project is also Mozambique’s very first combined utility-scale solar and energy storage plant.
Financing for the Cuamba project was provided by The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, a member of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) with US$19 million in debt funding.
PIDG’s Viability Gap Funding grant facility provided US$7million to support an affordable tariff, fund essential grid upgrades and an energy storage system for EDM. BII Plus, the technical assistance facility of British International Investment, contributed a US$1million grant towards the battery energy storage system.
Speaking at the project’s inauguration, Filipe Nyusi, the President of the Republic of Mozambique said; “The Cuamba solar and storage plant will provide greater energy security and stability in this region of Mozambique and marks a turning point for the Cuamba district. Globeleq, Source Energia and EDM have all invested in this project – a public-private partnership that demonstrates the confidence of international investors in Mozambique.”
“This is the third large-scale solar plant in Mozambique and the second that has had the support of the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Norway, two long-time friend and partner countries. We expect to build more renewable projects like this and look forward to initiating the Namaacha project – the first wind project in our country,” President Nyusi added.
Improving electricity supply in Mozambique
The electricity produced by the Cuamba solar power plant will be supplied to the Mozambican state-owned electricity utility EDM through a 25-year power purchase agreement. An estimated 22,000 Mozambican families are expected to be powered by the project, displacing over 172,000 tonnes of CO2 over the life of the project.
Furthermore, the existing Cuamba substation was also upgraded as part of the project’s construction, ensuring the smooth integration of variable solar energy into the grid.
“We are extremely excited to now have Cuamba Solar officially delivering clean power to the Mozambican grid via EDM and supporting both the local economy and the Government’s efforts to build more renewable power. We continue to build our business in Mozambique through this project, our purchase of the Mocuba solar PV plant and our Temane gas-to-power project, currently in construction,” said Globeleq CEO, Mike Scholey.