JCM Greenquest Solar Corporation, a local offshoot of Canada-based JCM Capital, and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have greenlighted a new grant that will facilitate the construction of 72 MW solar plant in Cameroon.
The $770,000 preparation grant will finance environmental and social impact investments as well as costs related to technical, legal and financial advisory services and paves the way for the country’s first independent power producer (IPP).
Michael Strait, managing director of JCM Capital’s development group, said, We welcome the support of the African Development Bank as we work with the government of Cameroon to help them achieve their energy policy goals. As the first renewable energy IPP in the country, we believe this project will jump start the development of renewables in Cameroon and attract significant investment to the clean energy sector.
The grant was approved by the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), a facility hosted and managed by the Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department of the AfDB.
According to the AfDB, the energy access rate in Cameroon is very low despite its "abundant resource potential and availability of conventional (oil and gas) and renewable (hydro and solar) resources." The AfDB states that the energy access rate for the continent stood at 18% in 2013, while its installed capacity of 1,400 MW is weighted by more than half towards hydro power.
In response to the low electrification rate, the government of Cameroon is implementing its Power Sector Development Plan 2030 (PDSE 2030), which aims to raise the electrification rate to 75% over the next 15 years.
Smaller-scale developments in the country have made the news in recent days. On Friday, pv magazine reported that the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) had developed the Smart Village programme and was operating it in many countries, including Cameroon.