A contract has been signed to develop the Caraculo solar photovoltaic project in the Namibe province of Angola.
Italian energy company Eni and Angolan oil company Sonangol have created a joint venture named Solenova. It reached Final Investment Decision stage and signed a contract to develop a 50MW project in phases.
The first phase of the project will be for 25MW and the project should start operations in the last quarter of 2022.
The Caraculo photovoltaic plant will be an important source of renewable electrical power in the Namibe province, which currently relies heavily on diesel for electricity generation. The installation of the solar PV plant should reduce emissions and increase energy independence for the region.
In addition, Eni suggests the project will positively contribute to the sustainable development of communities in the surrounding areas. This would be through increased access to energy, water, health and education.
Solenova Ltd was signed into being in June 2019 to assess and develop renewable energy opportunities in Angola. The new company will focus on utility-scale solar projects and support the country’s energy strategy to reach 800MW of installed renewable capacity by 2025.
Eni has traditionally been active in the oil-rich Angolan territory producing 33 million barrels of oil and condensate annually. The company is looking at strategies to decarbonise the local energy sector.
In October this year, President of the Republic of Angola João Gonçalves Lourenço and the CEO of Eni Claudio Descalzi, Eni Angola, ANPG and Sonangol signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the joint development of the agro-biofuel sector in the country.
The partnership will see the development of a circular economy approach, assessing in particular, the development of low-ILUC (indirect land‐use change) cultivations such as castor beans on degraded lands and cover crops in rotation with cereals.