The London-based independent power producer Globeleq (an institution formed by Norwegian and British funds) on 21 December announced that it has reached financial close on the 19-megawatt peak Cuamba Solar photovoltaic project in Mozambique. This will include the country's first grid-scale battery storage system with a capacity to store two megawatts (seven megawatt hours).
The US$36 million project will be constructed in the town of Cuamba, in the northern province of Niassa and is being developed in partnership with Mozambique's publicly-owned electricity company EDM and the company Source Energia.
Once operational, it will provide enough electricity for EDM to supply 21,800 consumers over a 25 year period. According to a statement from Globeleq, over the life of the project, it is expected to avoid the equivalent of more than 172,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) will provide US$19 million in debt funding, with the Private Infrastructure Development Group giving a grant of US$7 million and CDC (the British state development finance institution) contributing a one million dollar grant towards the battery storage system.
EDM chairperson Marcelino Gildo noted "this project is a demonstration of EDM's commitment to providing sustainable solutions to speed up energy access to Mozambicans. In compliance with the Government's five-year plan to introduce 200 megawatts of renewable energy, EDM is at the forefront of the energy transition in line with the Paris Agreement".
This sentiment was echoed by the chief executive of Globeleq, Mike Scholey, who stated, "We fully support the Mozambican government in their initiatives to support the Paris Agreement and provide its citizens with reliable and clean alternative energy options".
The construction of the power plant began in 2021 and will be the third solar power station in the country. The first was built in Mocuba, in Zambezia province, and has been in operation since 2019, whilst the second, at Metoro, in Cabo Delgado, is still under construction.
The first power from Cuamba is expected to flow in the second half of 2022.