Alcazar Energy has announced the start of commercial operation for the first of four projects it is developing as part of the Benban Solar Park, which will have a capacity of around 1.5 GW once completed, comprising 32 projects over 6 km².
The completed 64 MW project – AEES1 – as well as the other three Alcazar is developing – for a total capacity of 256 MW – are part of the Nubian Suns development scheme, backed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency and the Egyptian government.
“It is with great pride that Alcazar Energy can confirm that AEES1 is the first of 30 projects from the Round 2 FIT program to realize timely commercial operation within budget,” said Alcazar CEO Daniel Calderon. “The completion of AEES1 marks an important milestone for our company and we are fortunate to play a role in a program of this scale.”
The project was built at a cost $68.6 million, financed through loans from the IFC, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, African Development Bank Group and CDC group, as well as equity from Alcazar Energy. Construction was carried out by a TSK and Enviromena joint venture.
AEES1 marks the second segment of the Benban project to be grid connected, with German developer ib vogt and Egypt’s Infinity Solar bringing another 64 MW project online last March.
The Egyptian government has set varying deadlines for all 32 projects to achieve grid connection, with the latest in June this year. Speaking to pv magazine in October, Assem Korayem, operating general manager at Access-Power Egypt and a member of the Benban Solar Developers Association, stated his confidence all projects would be complete ahead of their commercial operations deadlines.