Ethiopia has awarded two US-based companies, Global Trade and Development Consulting (GTDC) and Energy Ventures to build, operate and transmit three solar power sites that will generate up to 300 megawatts in total in the eastern region of the country.
“This project represents a significant advance in our Ethiopian energy initiative and is now part of our comprehensive Energy Plan,” Ethiopia’s Minister of Water and Energy, Alemayehu Tegenu said without disclosing the value of the projects.
Also commenting on the contract, Chief Executive of GTDC Yonnas Kefle said his company spent months analyzing the potential for the large-scale project.
“We found that Ethiopia has some of the highest solar irradiance factors in Africa. As with all our projects, we intend to also maximize the amount of local content and resources in performance of this project,” he said.
Apart from power generation, the project is expected to create at least 2,000 construction jobs, the report stated.
Ethiopia plans to boost its electricity capacity from 2,000 megawatts to 10,000 megawatts within the next three to five years and has commissioned several power projects to ease dependence on Hydropower in line with its strategy to become East Africa’s biggest energy producer.
Some of the projects include the recently launched $290 million Ashegoda Wind Farm, the 6000 MW Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam, wholly-funded by the Ethiopian government at a cost of $4.8 billion and scheduled for completion in 2017, and a 1000 MW geothermal facility south of its capital, Addis Ababa.