October 23 (Renewables Now) - A tie-up led by Enel Green Power has been selected as preferred bidder in a solar tender in Ethiopia, which will give it the right to build and operate a 100-MW solar power plant in Metehara.
Italy’s Enel SpA (BIT:ENEL) said today its renewables subsidiary is partnering in the project with Ethiopian infrastructure firm Orchid Business Group. The consortium will invest about USD 120 million (EUR 102m) to build the solar photovoltaic (PV) park. It is planned to start power generation in 2019.
The facility will be producing roughly 280 GWh of power annually, selling all that under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with local utility Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP). The solar farm will offset around 296,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually, according to the developers' estimates.
Enel Green Power head Antonio Cammisecra said that Ethiopia could become a key market for Enel in Africa. It has significant renewable energy potential, stable regulatory framework and energy demand is growing.
EEP organised the solar tender under the country’s Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP 2). With the latter Ethiopia aims to secure 12 GW of hydro, wind, geothermal and solar capacity, working with the private sector, in a drive to diversify its energy mix.
Ethiopia has an installed capacity of some 4.3 GW, 90% from hydro and 8% from wind. According to figures by the World Bank, only 27.2% of Ethiopia’s population of 102 million have access to electricity.