The 30MWac Mocuba solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in Zambézia province, Mozambique, began operating on 30 July 2019, developer Scatec Solar has announced. The $80m project, which is expected to generate 79GWh/yr, has been under construction since March 2018. Mocuba is located on a 120ha site at the heart of the country’s northern network. The plant will help stabilise the grid during the day and improve security of supply.
Mocuba is owned by Scatec Solar (52.5%), national utility Electricidade de Moçambique (EdM, 25%), and KLP Norfund Investments (22.5%). KLP Norfund Investments is a co-investment vehicle financed jointly by mutual insurance company KLP and Norwegian development finance institution Norfund.
As the first solar independent power producer in the country, Mocuba has blazed a trail which others, such as Neoen’s Metoro project, are following. As a result, getting construction going took some time, with financial agreements signed in June 2017 but contractual conditions not satisfied until 2018 when construction began. A 25-year power purchase agreement was signed with EdM in October 2016.
Mozambique is expected to use its experience with the project to start competitive procurement. The World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation and EdM issued a request for expressions of interest earlier this month for consultants to assist with the development of 50-60MW of solar PV capacity across three to five sites in the country. Germany’s KfW is also believed to be looking at implementing its Global Energy Transfer Feed-in Tariff (Get Fit) programme, which has had success in Uganda and Zambia.
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