The 40-MWac Khoumagueli Solar IPP project in Guinea has marked a significant milestone with the signing of a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) between InfraCo Africa and Electricité de Guinée (EDG).
A Concession Agreement for the project was signed in February 2019.
The Khoumagueli Solar project will be Guinea’s first grid-connected solar photovoltaic plant. The project is designed to complement power generation at the nearby 75-MW Garafiri hydroelectric plant. The facilities will combine to maximize delivery of renewable energy to the national grid, with Khoumagueli Solar expected to mitigate against the impact of fluctuating rainfall on hydropower generation at Garafiri.
“The PPA signing is a key milestone for the Khoumagueli Solar project, which will deliver reliable, affordable power to Guinea’s homes and businesses. During these uncertain times, it is admirable that the teams involved have continued their work to achieve the signing of this important agreement,” said InfraCo Africa’s Chief Executive Officer Gilles Vaes. “The signing demonstrates the ongoing commitment of EDG and the Government of Guinea to developing the country’s clean energy sector.”
The project is being developed by InfraCo Africa – which is part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) — and Solveo Energie, a subsidiary of Solvéo Company, with the support of Aldwych Africa Developments.
A special purpose vehicle (SPV) named Khoumaguéli Solar S.A has been established under Guinean law, with the purpose of developing and constructing the power plant.
“The Khoumagueli Solar project contributes to the energy transition on the African continent. It combines photovoltaic solar energy with hydroelectricity produced in Guinea, reduces the need for thermal energy and reduces the cost of electricity,” said Jean-Marc Mateos, president of the Solveo Group.
EPC procurement is at a mature stage, and initial discussions with lenders have begun.
Guinea’s energy plan
Guinea has a national electrification rate of 35.4%. Guinea’s electricity supply is largely derived from hydropower, which can be susceptible to seasonal fluctuations in rainfall: 84% of businesses report power outages causing financial losses equivalent to about 4.7% of annual sales.
Demand for power is expected to rise sharply due to a forecast expansion of the country’s mining industry and economic growth. The government of Guinea has therefore prioritized the development of the energy sector as part of the country’s National Development Plan Economic and Social Council. The government is specifically seeking to exploit Guinea’s solar power potential to diversify the country’s energy mix and increase the availability and reliability of power.
As one of Guinea’s earliest renewable IPP initiatives, Khoumagueli has used grant funding secured from PIDG’s Technical Assistance and from ADEME (Agence De l’Environnement et de la Maitrise de l’Energie) to support work to build government capacity to undertake renewable energy projects with the private sector.