The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has approved a $780,000 preparation grant for the development of 40 MW solar PV plant in the Central African country of Chad.
Located near the capital of NDjamena, the Starsol Solar PV Plant is the first independent power producer project to be connected to the national grid.
The Starsol plant is backed by a consortium that includes solar project developer NewSolar Invest, engineering group CIEC Monaco and infrastructure and renewable energy project financier Arborescence Capital.
The SEFA grant will finance costs related to technical assistance for the completion of the plant design and grid study, as well as advisors for legal and financial structuring of the project.
The solar plant will provide reliable power to address power shortages hampering economic growth in the country, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB), which manages SEFA.
Implementation of the project will increase installed capacity by 45%, generate around 64 gigawatt hours of electricity per year, enough to power nearly 17,000 households in the NDjamena area. It will also contribute to diversifying the countrys energy mix and promote technology transfer, stimulating the creation of skilled and semi-skilled jobs, the AfDB added.
The Chad government is looking to increase development of renewable energy in the country, where less than 2% of the population has access to electricity. Most of the power in the country is generated by privately owned diesel generators, putting the price of electricity in the country at a high XAF 345 ($0.57) per kilowatt hour.
The project is aligned with the AfDB Climate Change Action Plan 2011-2015 and Energy Policy as well as the banks Strategy 2013-2022, which focuses on inclusive and green growth in Africa.