The Government of Zambia has announced the winners for the Scaling Solar project, a World Bank Group program that removes obstacles to large-scale solar power in developing countries. This project will help Zambia’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) add clean and affordable power capacity in the country.
The companies awarded are Neoen S.A.S. and First Solar Inc., who jointly bid to produce solar power at just US$6.02 cents per kilowatt hour, and Enel S.A., which bid US$7.84 cents per kilowatt hour.
The new Zambian solar plants will be built over the next year and feed into the grid, providing a new clean power source for the country. According to their winning bids, Neoen and First Solar will build a 45MW plant and Enel will build a 28 MW plant. Local Zambian participation in the two projects will be ensured through IDC taking a 20 percent shareholding in each of the two project companies.
In early June, we reported that IDC had opened bids from seven renewable energy developers seeking to build large-scale solar power plants in the southern African country where power shortages are acute. The bid tariffs ranged from US$6.02 ¢/kWh to 10.6¢ / kWh at the low end.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, designed and helped IDC run the tender, which attracted 48 solar power developers, seven of whom submitted final proposals. These were:
Philippe Le Houérou, IFC’s Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President, said:
“These are the lowest solar power tariffs seen to date in Africa, and among the lowest prices for solar power anywhere in the world—a game changer for Zambia and other countries in the region facing electricity shortages. Scaling Solar is paving the way for governments to deliver fast, cheap, and clean energy—even in relatively small and untested markets—and setting a new regional standard for procuring large-scale solar power.”