Mozambique’s first solar project including grid-scale battery storage achieves financial close

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Republic of Mozambique’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Ernesto Max Tonela ceremonially laid the first PV module in June. Image: EDM.

Africa-based independent power producer (IPP) Globeleq said financial close has been achieved on a solar PV project in Mozambique which will be integrated with energy storage. 

The Cuamba Solar PV plant will be a 19MWp (15MWac) generation facility paired with 2MW / 7MWh of energy storage supplied by Spanish energy storage company E22. 

E22 is part of the Gransolar Group and although lately has been working to commercialise vanadium flow battery technologies, the Cuamba project will utilise lithium-ion batteries, the company said in its own announcement on the project in late June. 

Globeleq, together with developer Source Energia and Mozambique’s national power utility Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM) have achieved financial close on the US$36 million project together. 

It will supply power to EDM via a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA), making it Mozambique’s first IPP facility to be integrated with energy storage. The project’s scope includes upgrades to a substation at Cuamba, Niassa province. 

An event to mark the start of construction was held in early June, as reported by Energy-Storage.news, with the Republic of Mozambique’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Ernesto Max Tonela laying the first PV module ceremonially

US$19 million in debt funding is coming from the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), which is a subsidiary of infrastructure development and finance group Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG). 

PIDG will also provide US$7 million through its Viability Gap Funding (VGF) facility, which will enable EDM to fund essential grid upgrades, host the energy storage system on its networks and keep an affordable tariff. US$1 million funding will come from CDC Plus, the technical assistance and support arm of CDC Group, the government of the UK’s development finance institution. 

“In line with CDC’s ambition to catalyse more storage solutions across the continent, CDC Plus will also offer support to capture and disseminate learnings around the battery component’s operational, economic, and development impact,” CDC Plus director Sarah Marchand said. 

“This project is a demonstration of EDM’s commitment to provide sustainable solutions to speed up energy access to Mozambicans,” EDM chairman Marcelino Gildo Alberto said.

“In compliance with the Government’s Five-Year Plan to introduce 200MW of renewable energy, EDM is at the forefront of the energy transition in line with the Paris Agreement.”

The project is expected to start coming online in the second half of next year. Globeleq said around 100 workers will be employed during construction, with an emphasis on hiring from the local community. 

Spain’s Grupo TSK will be project engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor, while Globeleq is overseeing construction and operations, with support from Source Energia. 

In April the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) pledged assistance to support a feasibility study for a 30MW wind power and battery storage project in Mozambique to be carried out by consulting firm POWER Engineers and financial advisory group Delphos International. 

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