French power producer to construct Zambia’s 54MW PV plant

Neoen the premier French independent power producer signed in March 2017, a 25 years PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) with ZESCO (the Zambian national utility), for a 54MW photovoltaic power plant.

The signing was witnessed by Zambia’s Finance Minister M. Muhati, French Anbassador to Zambia M. Cohet and the then France’s Development and francophone Minister M. Le Guen.

This project was awarded to the consortium comprised of Neoen and First Solar at the historically low price of $6c/kWh in the framework of the Scaling Solar program, developed by the World Bank Group (IFC) and whose roll-out took place in Zambia following Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s initiative in 2015.

The power plant, representing an investment of $60m, is being built and operated in partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the Zambian public investment fund, and will be the first utility scale photovoltaic power plant in the country.

The electricity generated will be supplied to Zesco through the 25-year power purchase agreement. Zambian media reports said the projects would take 8 months to complete.

In May 2017, Neoen and Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, have signed a 750 MW Conext SmartGen multi-year framework agreement on three continents. The scope includes: conversion stations composed of 1500V inverters, medium voltage switchgear, transformers, and complete monitoring and control system, as well as lifecycle maintenance services. Neoen reportedly decided to enter a framework agreement to secure electrical design, launch grid impact studies at an early stage in the development process, and leverage volumes.

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