Globeleq, Africa’s independent power producer, and the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), the infrastructure development and finance organisation, announced that it had officially broke ground on the pioneering 19MWp solar and 7MWh storage power project at Cuamba in northern Mozambique, bringing clean power and jobs to the region.
Globeleq is majority owned by CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution (DFI) and impact investor.
The $32m project marks a major milestone as it will be one of the first IPP grid-scale storage plants in sub-Saharan Africa. The Cuamba Solar project will provide clean energy to 18,000 households and support job creation in Niassa, one of the country’s poorest provinces with an electrification rate of just over 20 per cent.
The project will increase Mozambique’s insufficient power supply by adding clean energy to the Northern grid. By combining grid-connected solar with a battery storage component, the project will help solve network management issues and, by allowing some of the solar power to be shifted to different times of the day, helps avoid transmission losses from distant existing sources of supply.
The technology for battery storage is nascent and uptake of utility scale solutions remains limited globally. Currently, grants and concessional finance are often required to demonstrate the value of this emerging, but potentially transformative technology. Together with PIDG, CDC Plus (CDC’s technical assistance facility), has provided a grant to Globeleq for the 2MW / 7MWh storage solution alongside the 19MWp of solar power. In line with CDC’s ambition to catalyse uptake of storage solutions across Sub-Saharan Africa, CDC Plus will also provide support to capture and disseminate learnings around the battery component’s operational, economic, and development impact.
Globeleq has been actively developing the project since 2019 alongside its local partners, Source Energia and Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM), the state-owned electricity company, which also is the off-taker for the power.
The Mozambique Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Dr Ernesto Max Tonela, Nnenne Iwuji, the British High Commissioner to Mozambique and Aud Marit Wiig, the Norwegian Ambassador were key guests at the event.