SunEQ, a solar asset development platform based in Germany, announced the signing of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for a 5 MW solar project with Ohorongo Cement, one of the largest energy consumers in Namibia. It is the first major milestone for the sister company of independent German consultancy Suntrace, on its way towards becoming an independent power producer. The groundbreaking ceremony for the 5 MW PV plant took place next to the cement factory on World Environment Day, June 5, and was attended by the Namibian Environmental Commissioner Theofilus Nghitila.
With operation expected to commence by the end of 2017, the photovoltaic plant will be the first utility scale project in Namibia to generate solar power for industrial usage. The power purchase agreement has a 15-year term. “The project will significantly reduce Ohorongo Cement´s electricity expenses and running costs, and also help Namibia to increase the renewable energy portion of the country’s energy mix enormously”, says Matthias Schwara, managing director of SunEQ.
70% renewable energy by 2030
The Namibian government has committed itself to increasing the share of renewable energy in electricity production to 70% by 2030. “A captive power plant relates to the sale of power from a private generator. This business concept is likely to become gradually more popular as the economy’s demand for secure power supply increases, and the costs of solar generated electricity become more competitive”, adds Schwara.
The Hamburg-based company intends to implement a pipeline of solar assets in sub-Saharan Africa. “We provide international know-how to local developers to structure bankable solar projects, and to make investment attractive in what is often a difficult development process”, says Boris Westphal, managing director Suntrace.
Check out this video (animation) of the project.