solar energy

A multinational clean energy company has secured an order to establish 400 MW of solar photo-voltaic power plant capacity in the DRC.

It is intended to gradually reduce energy scarcities faced by the mining industry in certain regions and will also be the first solar plant of the country.

This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa Issue 8, 2019
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The firm responsible for delivering the solar plant is Hanergy Thin Film Power Group.

The agreement was signed – a strategic partnership framework between Hanergy and the Ministry of Energy and Hydraulic Resources of the DRC on 29 May. The execution of the co-operation will begin in December this year.

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Under the agreement, the two parties along with the National Power Company of the DRC will follow an “EPC+F” financing model in joint efforts through project cooperation and technical exchange to consolidate and increase cooperation in the fields of electricity, water, renewable energy and fuel.

The plants will have a cumulative capacity of 400 MW and will specifically help reduce energy scarcity faced in the provinces of Katanga, Lualaba, Kasaï-Oriental, Kasaï-Central, Kivu and Sankuru.

“Our strategic partnership with the global clean energy giant Hanergy is a step ahead towards meeting the DRC’s original target of 65% electrification by 2025, letting alone the new Sustainable Development Goals of universal electricity access by 2030,” says José Maboya Nzalingo, General Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Hydraulic Resources.

The initial strategic partnership framework agreement suggests that energy generated in the first stage is estimated will be 20 MW, benefiting over 100 000 people.

With the total capacity of 400 MW, the project also aims to generate around 10 000 jobs and providing education to create 100 technology specialists.

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“The present 400 MW solar power station project is primarily aimed at meeting the on-peak demand of nearby mining companies and reduce local diesel consumption, while reducing carbon emissions substantially,” notes Guo Bin, CEO of Hanergy Uganda Company.

Even though the DRC is endowed with large mineral resources, its national electrification access rate was just 9% as per 2013 data, instigating major hindrance in the country’s economic development.

Despite, having abundant hydraulic and solar resources, the electricity infrastructure in the DRC is very poor with obsolete technologies for energy generation and transmission.

Since 2009, Hanergy has been working to integrate worldwide solar technologies, and making robust investment for the research and innovation in field of thin-film solar power.

The company’s solar cells set the world record for conversion efficiency several times, with the newest one being 29.1%.

It launched and upgraded a handful of consumer products at CES Asia 2019, including Humbrella, the solar-powered parasol; HanPack, the solar backpack; HanPower, a portable solar power-bank product, retaining its leading position in the mobile energy sector.