Italian Enel launches Zambia’s first solar power station

Enel, an Italian energy corporation, has launched its first major solar power station in Zambia. Built at a cost of 40 million dollar, 34-mega-watt Ngonye installation is to generate 70 gigawatt hours of energy a year, which under a 25-year PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) is to be purchased by a state-owned power utility ZESCO.

This investment project is part of the World Bank’s Scaling Solar program, which aims to diversify solar energy generation sources in Zambia and increase the country’s capacity to generate power from sunlight.

As for energy production, Zambia’s major source is renewable water power, but the country is also heavily dependent on hydro energy. This is the reason why, within the forthcoming years, its government is planning to install photovoltaic power stations of a joint capacity of 600 MW.

„Through this project we are diversifying our electricity generation mix to hedge against severe drought and climate change effects,” said Antonio Cammisecra, the head of Enel Green Power.

The Ngonye plant is owned by a subsidiary, 80% of which belongs to Enel Green Power and the remaining 20% – to local Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).

Enel is planning to invest 700M euro into renewable energy projects in Africa. By 2021 the capacity of new RES plants – wind and solar facilities – is to reach 900 MW [1].

[1] https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/30/italian-energy-firm-enel-switches-on-its-first-power-plant-in-zambia.html