UK and Norwegian governments back solar-plus-storage in Mozambique

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The Globeleq renewables development body owned by the U.K. and Norwegian governments has broken ground on a $32 million, 19 MWp solar project in Mozambique which also features 2 MW/7 MWh of energy storage.

Described as the first independent power project in the nation to feature utility scale storage, the project will benefit from a $7 million grant from the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) which is funded by the International Finance Corp private-sector arm of the World Bank alongside the governments of the U.K., the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden, and Germany.

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London-based, Africa-facing renewables developer Globeleq is 70% owned by U.K. development impact investor CDC and 30% by Norwegian state-owned private equity company Norfund. With the solar-plus-storage project in Mozambique to receive a $1 million grant from the CDC, a press release about the facility which was published by Globeleq this morning stated: “the project is expected to receive” a $19 million loan from PIDG member the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, which receives public money from the U.K., Switzerland, Sweden and the development banks of Germany and the Netherlands.

The solar plant is being constructed in the Tetereane district of Cuamba, in Niassa province, 550km west of Nacala, and Globeleq said around 100 construction workers would be required, many of them local.

Maputo-based private renewables investor Source Energia – part of the Source Capital Group which operates in Mozambique and Angola – is a partner in the project and Mozambican state-owned utility Electricidade de Moçambique will buy the electricity to be generated at the site under a 25-year power purchase agreement. Globeleq did not specify the price tariff agreed by the electric company, the estimated time required for construction or the technology to be used in the storage system.

Spanish contractor TSK will provide engineering, procurement and construction services on the project.

Touting its southern African renewables experience, Globeleq announced it has been pre-qualified in the bidding for the 40 MWp Dondo Solar Project planned in Mozambique's Sofala province, and has been selected to develop two 15 MWp solar farms in neighboring Eswatini.

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