Solar developer Alten Africa has achieved financial closure of what will be the biggest photovoltaic (PV) solar power plant in Namibia and one of the biggest in sub-Saharan Africa.
The $70-million plant’s commercial operation is scheduled for September, with installed capacity of 45.5 MWp for an output of 37 MWac.
The plant will be located in the Mariental municipality, in the Hardap region, and will be one of the most efficient PV solar plants in the world, owing to the area’s high radiation levels.
With an estimated yearly production of 112 GWh and occupying 100 ha, the plant will meet energy needs equivalent to a population of 70 000 – 3% of the country’s energy needs.
The plant will have around 140 000 crystalline silicon panels mounted on solar trackers.
South African financial services provider Standard Bank and a subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement, Proparco, have provided about $50-million in funding for the PV plant.
Alten Africa has a majority stake (51%) in the investment vehicle, Alten Hardap, with NamPower holding a 19% stake and other local investors, First Place, Mangrove, and Talyeni, the balance.
The new PV plant will make the country’s energy mix more balanced and will reduce its energy dependency on other countries by nearly 5%.