Energiya Global Capital, which is an Israel-based research & development group, and Netherlands-based solar project developer, Gigawatt Global are planning to build solar parks at several university campuses in Ethiopia.
In a statement sent to pv magazine, Gigawatt Global CEO, Josef Abramovitz said that, initially, the two companies will build 10 solar power facilities with a capacity of 10 MW each, and that the project is currently being discussed with Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Dessalegn.
The solar projects, Abramowitz stressed, are part of a broader plan to train hundreds of thousands of students in what will be living laboratories for solar and other green energy.
“The goal is technology and knowledge transfer from Israel and the United States and will be done in phases, subject to final approval of the Prime Minister and Energy Minister, who turned to Israel to help develop this technical training program.” More details on the projects were not provided.
Ethiopia has limited success with solar energy to date. The country’s first large-scale solar facility is a project tendered by the local government last year, a 100 MW solar plant that will be build by Italian power utility Enel.
The project is part of a new energy plan announced in June, which is aimed at diversifying the country’s energy mix and increasing its electrification rate.
Based on the government’s energy plan for the years up to 2020, Ethiopia has prioritized 300 MW of solar PV projects dispersed across three sites; 820 MW of wind power to be located across four sites; 570 MW of geothermal power to be developed over four sites; and an extra 3879 MW of new hydro plants over eight different sites.
Gigawatt Global is a founding partner of the U.S. Power Africa initiative and developed Sub-Sahara Africa s first commercial scale solar field, a 6 MW PV plant located in Rwanda.