SkyPower and Africa Finance Corporation to co-develop 200MW solar project in DRC

Canada-based renewables firm SkyPower has signed a joint development agreement with financial institution Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) to develop a 200MW solar project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The project represents the first phase of a 1GW power purchase agreement (PPA) signed between SkyPower and the DRC’s state-owned utility Société Nationale d’Electricité (SNEL). Construction will begin by 2025.

“Partnering with SkyPower is well aligned with our mission to advance energy access on the continent through renewable energy. Through this collaboration, we aim to contribute significantly to rapid industrialisation, local job creation, sustainable economic growth and a pragmatic transition to net zero in DRC and Africa as a whole,” said Amadou Wadda, senior director of project development and technical solutions at AFC.

Elsewhere in the DRC, last month solar PV plants were installed in two gold mines. According to Mark Bristow, president and chief executive of Canadian mining company Barrick Gold Corporation (which owns the mines), after the commissioning of a 16MW solar PV plant coupled with battery energy storage systems (BESS), it is expected that the mine’s overall renewable electricity supply will increase from 81% to 90%. Construction of the solar PV plant will commence in the first quarter of 2024. Both the solar PV plant and BESS will be operational in 2025.

Additionally, DRC energy company Nuru has secured US$40 million for the construction of a 13.7 MWp project.