Saudi Arabian power company Acwa Power announced it secured the PPAs for three solar power plants with a combined capacity of 165.5 MW it will build in Benban, Aswan, upper Egypt.
The company said the three projects will require an aggregate investment of $190 million and will be developed under Round 2 of the country’s FIT scheme. The three facilities will have a capacity of 67.5 MW, 70 MW and 28 MW, respectively. Acwa Power hopes to achieve financial close and start construction of the three plants by the fourth quarter of this year, with completion scheduled for 2018.
Two local companies, Tawakol and Hassan Allam Holding, are partnering with Acwa Power on the three projects. “The Benban projects are significant for being ACWA Power’s first investment in the country and we are confident that we will have many more opportunities to partner with the Ministry of Electricity in its pursuit of energy security and other strategic goals,” said the company’s chief investment officer Rajit Nanda.
The 1.8 GW Benban solar complex represents the larger portion of the 2 GW of PV capacity allocated by the Egyptian government through its FIT scheme for solar. Several developers announced the securing of a PPA or of financing over the past months, as the FIT scheme seemed finally to regain momentum after two years of stalling. The 2 GW target is expected to be achieved via the development of 40 individual solar parks of around 50 MW each as Egypt aims to source 20% of its energy from renewables by 2020.