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Mozambique: Construction begins on solar-battery project


14 Jun 2021

Construction has begun on the 19MWp/15MWac Cuamba solar PV plant with 2MW/7MWh battery storage in Mozambique, project sponsors United Kingdom-based Globeleq, private equity firm Source Capital and Electricidade de Moçambique (EdM) said on 14 June. The announcement followed an official groundbreaking ceremony attended by mineral resources and energy minister Ernesto Max Tonela. The $32m project is located in the Tetereane district of Cuamba, Niassa province, and will bolster the country’s less reliable northern grid, including upgrading the existing Cuamba substation.

Cuamba will be the first independent power producer in Mozambique to use energy storage. Power will be sold through a 25-year power purchase agreement signed with EdM in September last year. The project is being strongly backed by the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG). PIDG’s Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund is looking at providing $19m debt and the project will also receive a $7m viability gap funding grant from PIDG and a $1m grant from CDC Plus to reduce the tariff and finance the storage system.

Spain’s TSK is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor. Globeleq will oversee construction and operations of the plant.

Globeleq and Source Capital are also developing a 60MW wind power project in Namaacha, 40km west of Maputo. Both Namaacha and Cuamba were originally developed by Quantum Power but were sold following a major management shake up in 2019. Globeleq also prequalified in April to develop the 40MWp Dondo solar power project in Sofala province, alongside EDF Renewables, Enel Green Power, Scatec, and Total Eren. Dondo is being developed through Mozambique's Programa de Leilāo de Projectos de Energias Renovávies (Proler).

 

Image: Cuamba solar PV, battery plant. Source: African Energy Live Data.

South Africa Power Report 2021/22

The challenges facing the South African electricity supply industry have intensified over the past year, with the coronavirus emergency placing a heavy burden on the economy while severe load shedding has been imposed despite a fall in demand.

African Energy’s South Africa Power Report 2020/21 assesses the causes and symptoms of this crisis from political power struggles, governance issues and the long list of policy documents that are supposed to guide the ESI's future direction – but where in many cases ambitions are unfulfilled – to the country’s huge potential for renewable energy and the pressures of ensuring a ‘just transition’ away from coal.

Learn more about the report here.