Egypt is looking to take a big step towards a green future. Egyptian based Infinity Solar S.A.E and German companies ib vogt GmbH and Solizer GmbH & Co. KG have announced the successful closure of a 64.1 MV PV plant under round one of Egypt’s FIT program. The so-called Infinity 50 solar park in Benban was officially approved by the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company on 6 March.
According to a company press release, ib vogt has already started the construction of around 200,000 solar arrays and aims to commission the 98.6 hectare solar farm in fall this year. Once energized, the PV plant’s electricity output of 110,000 MWh per year will be sold to the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) pursuant to the signed 25-year Power Purchase Agreement and other contracts.
Financing of the Infinity 50 project was obtained from the German commercial bank Bayerische Landesbank for 85% of the debt, with the remaining 15% coming from Arab African International Bank. The loan was secured through the German government.
The project is part of the 1.6 GW Benban solar development complex, which represents a landmark in the development of sustainable large-scale power generation for a region where growth in demand for electricity is at 6-7% per annum. It is expected that the 60MW PV plant alone will prevent 1,293,000 tons of CO2 emissions over the course of its 25-year lifetime, thus contributing immensely to achieving the country’s target of meeting 20% of its total energy demand through renewable energies by 2020.
As reported by Fraunhofer ISE in December 2016, wind and large-scale solar farms are already competitive in Egypt. In some parts of the country the electricity output is even cheaper compared to fuel and gas power plants. The institute concluded, withthe help of financial support mechanism, a cut in subsidies for fossil energy, the price for electricity from renewable energy could fall further still.
By Carl Johannes Muth