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Acciona And Enara Building Two Solar PV Plants In Egypt

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Sishen PV plant in South Africa, courtesy of Acciona

Acciona Energía and Enara Bahrain Spv Wll (Enara) have begun construction work on two solar PV plants in Egypt with a total rated capacity of 150 MW.

The solar plants are located in the Benban complex, established by the Egyptian Government in the Aswan area and are the first renewables projects undertaken by Acciona in the country. Both Acciona and Enara will have a 50 percent share in the ownership of the facilities when they enter service.

The solar plants will be covered by the feed-in tariff system established by the Egyptian Government in 2016. They will produce energy equivalent to the consumption of around 150,000 Egyptian homes and displace 297,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum from fuel-oil power plants. The power generated will be supplied to the utility Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company under a long-term PPA contract (25 years). Finance for the operation has been agreed with International Finance Corporation and with Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

The construction work will last for an estimated 12 months until the start-up of the plants. Each one will be equipped with 190,774 polycrystalline silicon modules of Astronergy technology, provided by the Chint group, mounted on horizontal-axis tracking structures manufactured by STI Norland.

The Benban photovoltaic complex covers 37.2 square kilometres on a site provided by the Egyptian Government through its New and Renewable Energy Authority. The site can accommodate 41 privately-owned photovoltaic plants with a potential combined capacity of 1,800 MW.

The project is part of the Egyptian Government’s plan to promote renewable energy in order to diversify the country’s electricity mix, which is currently dependent on oil and gas, the latter of which is currently imported. The Egyptian Government hopes to achieve a 90 percent contribution from renewables with a strategic target of 20 percent renewables by 2022, compared with 8 percent in 2015.

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