The East African Power (EAP), a Canadian energy company has announced to build two solar PV power stations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The two projects of 133 MW each are located in provinces of Katanga (Kolwezi) and Lualaba (Likasi). The company will own 85 per cent stake in these projects.
The Canadian company has already signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the National Electricity Company (SNEL) for the two solar power plants. These solar plants are projected to inject 494 GWh of clean electricity annually into the national grid, reducing CO2 emissions by 5,400 tonnes. The project is expected to create over 800 full-time and temporary jobs.
Support for the construction of the solar power plants comes from the Trade and Development Bank (TDB), which is assisting EAP in the project preparation process with the goal of reaching financial closure in 2024. Additionally, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the East Africa Power Program and the Sustainable Capital Africa Facility have provided support.
By introducing these solar power plants, the DRC aims to diversify its electricity mix, which currently heavily relies on hydroelectric power stations, accounting for 2,792 MW of the country’s total installed capacity of 2,844 MW, according to Power Africa.
In March 2023, the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced the launch of ISA’s first programme, Scaling Solar Applications for Agriculture Use, in ten African ISA Member Countries: Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Niger, Republic of Sudan, Senegal, South Sudan, Togo, Tuvalu, and Uganda. The programme was slated to be implemented over the next two years and will be financially supported with USD 2 million, which ISA and UNDP have jointly secured.