UAE firm to develop Uganda solar project

11 December 2014

10MW photovoltaic project will receive funding from European development fund

UAE-based developer Access Power has been awarded a contract to develop Uganda’s first solar project as an independent power project (IPP).

Through its subsidiary, Access Uganda Solar, the firm will develop a 10MW photovoltaic (PV) solar project in Soroti, northeastern Uganda. Once completed, the plant will generate over 18 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, which will be able to provide electricity for more than 40,000 Ugandan households.

Access will receive funding from the European Union Infrastructure Trust Fund through the GET FiT Solar Facility, a development initiative set up to provide support for PV solar schemes.

The $17m project is expected to reach financial close in June 2015, with commercial operations scheduled for December 2015. The tariff for the project over the period of 20 years will be $c16.38 per kWh. The end users, however, will only pay $c11 per kWh, with the rest of the cost to be subsidised by the European Union Infrastructure Fund.

“The project will create a framework, not just for Uganda, for the whole of Africa,” Reda el-Chaar, chairman of Access Power, tells MEED.

“There has been a lot of solar projects planned before in Africa, but very few were bankable,” El-Chaar explains.

El-Chaar says that the African market is set to offer vast potential for power developers and renewable energy companies, particularly if projects such as this succeed.

“Africa is going through a very big change – we believe that this will be the place for investment in the coming years”.

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