Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a grant to Access Power, a developer, owner and operator of renewable power projects in emerging markets and its strategic partner EREN Renewable Energy a global independent power producer. The $1.05 million grant supports a bankable feasibility study and related costs for a 130 MW wind power project in Zambia.
Once completed in 2019, Access Power and EREN Renewable Energy will own and operate the plant. The $275 million wind farm will generate around 500 GWh of clean electricity, making it one of the largest renewable energy projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and the first wind independent power plant in Zambia.
Zambia has historically relied primarily on hydropower for its energy needs, accounting for 96% of the country’s electricity production. In 2016 Zambia experienced a serious energy shortage due to the poor 2014-2015 rain season which resulted in a steep drop in electricity production. The country is now looking to diversifying its generation mix to hedge itself against variations in rain levels. Access Power will competitively select a U.S. firm to complete the study following the grant signing, via posting on the Federal Business Opportunities website, www.fbo.gov.
USTDA is pleased to support this important project that will help diversify Zambia’s energy generation mix,” said USTDA’s Acting Director Thomas R. Hardy. “The project will create opportunities for US exports in a new and growing sector in Zambia.”
Vahid Fotuhi, Managing Director – Access Power commented: “By bringing this pioneering project to fruition with the support of USTDA we aim to diversify Zambia’s energy mix and tap into its vast clean energy power generation potential in order to help fuel its economy development and satisfy the urgent need for electrification.”
Christophe Fleurence, Vice President, Business Development Africa at EREN RE commented: “The support from USTDA combined with our expertise and the favorable policy environment set by Zambia will deliver a landmark project for the country. This project positively illustrates how International cooperation between public and private sectors can accelerate Africa’s development through access to clean sustainable energy.”