DRC secures renewable energy agreements to the value of US$100m
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has signed three renewable energy concession agreements with a consortium led by UK’s Gridworks worth US$100-million.
The agreements will see the consortium develop, build and operate three large-scale solar-hybrid, off-grid utilities that are expected to add value to a potential half a million people by providing power to three cities Gemena, Bumba and Isiro in the north of the country.
The three cities currently have no grid connection and struggle to access reliable, affordable and clean power.
The consortium was selected as the winning bidder for the Essor Access to Energy (A2E) Initiative (Essor Project) after an international tender process run by the Project Coordination and Management Unity (UMC) of DRC’s ministry of Hydraulic Resources and Electricity.
The consortium announced the brand name of the companies that will provide the solar power to the residents and businesses of the three cities as Moyi Power (sun power).
The project anticipates an initial deployment of 14MW PV (photovoltaics) panels and 40MWh battery storage.
According to a statement from Gridworks, the development and financing works of the project is expected to take at least 14 months and at the conclusion of the financing arrangements, Moyi Power will then begin an approximately 18-months construction period of the three power plants and associated distribution networks.
The 22-year concession agreements were signed on 3 June, 2021 in DRC by Gridworks CEO Simon Hodson on behalf of the consortium and Minister Mukaleng.
Hodson said, “I’m delighted to sign the concession agreements on behalf of the consortium. In serving these three cities, Moyi Power has a critical mass and regulatory support that is missing from most mini-grid models. It can set an example to off-grid industry, push down costs for consumers and attracting long-term capital from investors. The consortium now looks forward to working with the government of DRC and with the financial institutions who have supported us to take the next step and to reach financial close.”
Mukaleng said, “Renewable energy is a priority for the DRC government for growth, revenue generation and employment with an ambitious target of providing universal access to electricity. I’m very pleased to launch this project and hope it brings benefits to our country and our people.”