Neoen, a French renewable energy firm, and First Solar announced that they have successfully bid for a 47.5 megawatt (MW) AC utility-scale solar power project in Zambia.
The project was awarded by Zambia’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) at a tariff of $0.06 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), the lowest seen in sub-Saharan Africa, to date, according to company officials.
The project – the first to be developed under the World Bank’s Scaling Solar program – is part of Zambia’s first utility-scale Independent Power Producers (IPP) scheme for solar energy.
IDC will retain a 20 percent stake in the project.
The project is scheduled to be completed by mid-2017. The energy generated by the facility will be supplied to ZESCO, the state-owned utility company, under a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
The plant will be powered by approximately 450,000 high performance First Solar modules, which offer up to six percent more energy in Zambia that conventional crystalline silicon PV panels thanks to the superior temperature coefficient and spectral response that allows them to generate more energy than conventional crystalline silicon panels, in humid conditions.