Acciona breaks ground on 186 MW of solar in Egypt

Spanish renewable energy project developer, Acciona has started construction on three large-scale PV power plants in Egypt in cooperation with Saudi investment firm, Swicorp.

The facilities will have a combined capacity of 186 MW when complete, and will be owned 50% by Acciona and Swicorp. Overall, the two companies will invest around US$180 millions in the projects, which are being developed under phase II of Egypt’s FIT scheme, and will be located at the 1.8 GW Benban solar complex.

All three of the projects, which will sell power to local utility, Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) under a 25-year FIT contract, are being financially backed by the World Bank’s Finance Corporation (IFC) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

For every plant, Acciona will utilize 190,774 polycrystalline silicon solar panels provided by Chinese PV module maker, Astronergy and solar trackers from Spanish manufacturer, STI Norland.

The Benban complex, located in Aswan, southern Egypt, is being developed under phase I and II of
Egypt’s FIT scheme for solar and renewables, which has seen the allocation of around 2 GW of solar power.

Development of the program was slowed by a dispute that emerged in March 2016 between the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company, and international lenders and developers over the arbitration venue for the projects.

In September of last year, however, a new revised phase for the program was announced, which slashed FIT rates and cleared up the arbitration dispute.