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After the government surprised many observers by announcing in April that membership of the Desertec Industrial Initiative would be central to its ambitious renewable energy policy, recently appointed energy minister Abdelmadjid Attar has announced that Algeria is pulling out of the German-led scheme.

Algeria
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A cabinet meeting on 30 September adopted a decree declaring the 2,200 hectares of land earmarked for the development of the Gribo Popoli hydropower plant on the Sassandra River and its infrastructure to be of public utility, and setting out the compensation to be paid to affected populations. The 112MW hydro scheme, with annual energy production of 580GWh, is being built by Sinohydro at a site 10km downstream from the Soubré dam, which was also built by the Chinese company.

Côte d'Ivoire
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The United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) announced on 28 September that it has awarded a $996,155 grant to renewable energy developer Lekela and national utility Senelec to carry out a ten-month study for a utility-scale battery plant. The facility will help Senelec manage the impact of Lekela’s 158.7MW Taïba N’Diaye wind power project, which is partially online, with full commissioning delayed due to Covid-19.

Senegal
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Société Nigérienne d’Electricité (Nigelec) has contracted a consortium of India’s Sterling andWilson,France’sVergnet and SNS Niger to construct a solar PV battery storage and diesel genset-based hybrid power plant in the central city of Agadez.

Niger
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Nigeria’s Rural Electrification Agency (REA) is inviting companies to prequalify to install solar hybrid systems at seven universities and two teaching hospitals with combined capacity of around 38MW. The tender is being funded through the World Bank Group-backed Energising Education Programme Phase II and Nigeria Electrification Project.

Nigeria
Issue 426 - 05 November 2020

Kenya: Off-grid solar funding

Free

The Kenya Off-Grid Solar Access Project (Kosap) has released KSh500m ($4.6m) to 19 companies to support wider use of solar and clean cooking technology in off-grid areas. The financing will support the establishment of standalone solar systems and clean cooking solutions for households in 14 counties that are underserved by the national electricity grid. The disbursement, announced on 19 October, is part of the ambitious five-year Kosap project supported by the World Bank with $150m.

Kenya
Free

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has launched prequalification for a tender to develop small solar PV systems to power its operations across three countries.

Kenya | Uganda
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The scale of the challenges facing Kenya Power has been highlighted by the release of its results for the past two years. The utility has been hard hit by Covid-19, with demand dropping while arrears soared, but its finances were struggling long before the pandemic struck, writes Dan Marks.

Kenya
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Société d’Energie et d’Eau du Gabon (SEEG) is rehabilitating the 5MW Bongolo hydropower plant in Ngounié province with the aim of restoring its installed capacity and improving supply in the region. The project, which will cost nearly CFAF7bn ($12.7m) to be financed entirely by the utility, will entail replacing the plant’s five turbines, including automation and control systems, as well as the complete upgrading of units G1 and G2 and all hydro-mechanical structures.

Gabon
Issue 427 - 19 November 2020

Kenya/Ethiopia/Uganda: UNHCR solar tender

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has launched prequalification for a tender to develop small solar PV systems to power its operations in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. Contractors will finance, build and operate plants at up to ten UNHCR sites. Expression of interests are due by 30 November. A request for proposals is scheduled to be issued in early 2021 and further tenders are expected.

Kenya | Uganda | Ethiopia
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Minister of energy Dona Jean-Claude Houssou on 19 November launched the construction of a 25MW solar PV plant in Illoulofin, in Pobè municipality, known as the Defissol project. The plant will be built on a 96ha site owned by Société Béninoise d’Energie Electrique (SBEE), which is funding the CFA12.7bn ($23m) project along with the European Union and the French Development Agency.

Benin
Issue 428 - 03 December 2020

Chad: New solar plant

Free

President Idriss Deby Itno on 21 November launched construction of a 100MW solar PV project in N’djamena’s Gaoui district. The project will be developed in two 50MW stages by Austria’s Merl Solar Technologies on a build, own, operate and transfer basis. It will also include a 10MWh storage system and a 33/90kV substation.

Chad
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Globeleq on 10 December announced that Spain’s TSK has been selected to build the 450MW Temane combined cycle gas power plant.

Mozambique
Issue 429 - 17 December 2020

Chad: New energy rules bear first fruit

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ZIZ Energie has started civil works for a 2.5MW solar and 5MWh storage mini-grid in Mongo in central Chad. Work on the hybrid project began in October 2020 and the project is expected to come online by Q2 2021, supplying the city of 70,000 people 500km east of N’Djamena. ZIZ told African Energy it was the first company to use a new licensing regime introduced by law No 036 of August 2019.

Chad
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Construction is set to begin in January on a 10MW solar PV project to supply Amazon’s operations in South Africa, after the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) approved an amended generation licence. The project is an important milestone for the country as the first licensed plant – plants larger than 1MW must have a generation licence – to use a Wheeling Use of System Agreement with national utility Eskom in recent years.

South Africa