The project, which is being developed under the World Bank Group’s Scaling Solar programme, will be Zambia’s first utility-scale solar power plant.
The site is located in Kafue district, southeast of Lusaka and is spread across 52 hectares of land.
The International Finance Corporation announced in December that financing for the solar park had been completed, and that Neoen and its partner, First Solar Inc have issued a “notice to proceed” on construction.
Neoen and First Solar won the project in a tender in June 2016.
The other winner in that tender was Enel Green Power with a 28.2-MW solar project.
Bikesh Ogra of Sterling and Wilson said that Zambia, which suffers from power outages, is a key market for the company “considering the booming renewable energy segment and the Zambian government’s support for the development of 500 MW of new Solar PV plant in next couple of years. Sterling and Wilson is a key player in Africa region. We have commissioned 90 MWp Solar PV plant in Africa till date. Reports suggest one in five people living in the country currently has no access to electricity, a basic need today. We are glad to be chosen by Neoen for this project and are privileged to be part of the energy revolution in a power deficit market.”
In the year 2015, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) signed an agreement with IFC to develop two large-scale solar projects through Scaling Solar program.
This will be Zambia’s first utility scale solar PV project and first under Scaling Solar Program exclusively for on grid application.