UK-based independent power producer (IPP) Globeleq has announced the financial close of its Cuamba solar project in Mozambique. With support from the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), IPP is building a 19 MWp solar PV plant with battery storage.
The Cuamba solar project is now fully into the construction phase. This follows a financial mobilization by Globeleq, the independent power producer (IPP) that is developing the project in partnership with Source Energia, a power producer in Portuguese-speaking Africa, and Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM), Mozambique’s national electricity company.
Construction of the Cuamba solar PV plant will require an investment of $36 million. The project partners have raised the necessary financing from the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF, $19 million) of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG). Viability Gap Funding (VGF), PIDG’s grant mechanism, provided $7 million to enable an affordable power purchase tariff.
Construction of an electricity storage system
The grant will also fund the necessary upgrades to Mozambique’s national power grid to integrate renewable energy, as well as a storage system for the state-owned utility EDM. Globeleq and its partners plan to equip the Cuamba solar plant with a 2 MW (7 MWh) battery storage system. This component of the project is also supported by $1 million in funding from CDC Plus, the technical assistance arm of UK investor CDC Group.
“We are delighted to support one of the first grid-scale battery electricity storage systems in sub-Saharan Africa,” says Sarah Marchand, the director of CDC Plus. The Cuamba solar photovoltaic power plant is being built in the Niassa province in northern Mozambique. The plant will have a capacity of 19 MWp and will be operated under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) signed between its developers and the state-owned utility EDM.
The project also includes the construction of a 400-meter transmission line that will connect the Cuamba solar plant to an existing 33/110 kV substation that will be rehabilitated with the VGF grant. This is an important project for Mozambique as it will allow the southern African country to accelerate its electrification process and, above all, to diversify its electricity mix. Currently, Mozambique has an installed capacity of over 3,000 MW. According to Power Africa, 75% of this electricity is produced by hydroelectric power plants.