Dubai based renewable energy developer, Access Power Limited, has signed an Implementation Agreement with the Zambian Ministry of Energy to develop Zambia’s first wind power plant with a total capacity of 130 MW. Access Power will develop the project in collaboration with Zambia’s Industrial Development Corporation under a jointly owned company called Access Zambia Wind One LLC. The new company will build, own and operate the plant.
Hydro currently provides 85 percent of Zambia’s electricity capacity, mostly through large-scale, grid-connected generation. The country aims to diversify its energy mix and source 15% of the its electricity mix from renewable sources (other than hydro) by 2030.
“The development of projects such as the 130 MW Wind Power project by Access Power is in line with the Government objective to increase exploitation of renewable energy in order to diversify the energy mix in line with the National Energy Policy (NEP) 2019. Indeed, the addition of Wind Energy for electricity generation will not only reduce over reliance on hydropower but will also supply clean energy towards the attainment of universal access to energy,” said, Mr. Danies K Chisenda, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy, Zambia.
The first phase of the wind power plant has a total capacity of 130 MW and will be located in Pensulo, Serenje District, Zambia. In a second phase the plant will be expanded up to 300 MW at the same location.
Access Power started developing the project in 2017, since then all major development milestones including the acquisition of land, wind measurement campaign, resource estimation, design and several approvals pursuant to the Zambian regulations have been completed.
Mr. Mateyo Kaluba, Chief Executive Officer of the Zambian Industrial Development Corporation, added; “This is a critical milestone in actualizing the Access Power wind project. The project will be another “first of its kind” grid-scale renewable energy project in Zambia, leveraging our wind resources and further diversifying the energy generation mix in the country. The project is particularly significant as the region continues to grapple with climate induced challenges in conventional hydro generation. We are confident that the successful implementation of this project will provide the necessary impetus for increased private sector interest in exploring innovative opportunities in renewables in the Country.”
Access Zambia Wind One LLC aims to finalize the financing of the project by the first quarter of 2022 and start construction later during that year. The construction of the plant is expected to take up to two years.
“Access Power has once again proved its core competency to develop sustainable low-cost power projects amidst some of the most globally excruciating circumstances. Our ability to be patient, remain focused on the target and develop long lasting partnerships have been the key enablers for this landmark project,” said Mr. Reda El Chaar, Executive Chairman, Access Power Limited.