The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has approved grant funding for Access Power’s 130 MW wind power project in Zambia.
Access Power, which develops, owns and operates renewable energy projects in emerging countries, says the USTDA grant will go toward funding a feasibility study, as well as costs related to the development of the project.
According to Access Power, electricity in Zambia has historically been generated from hydroelectric sources, accounting for 96% of the country’s electricity production. However, recent droughts in southern Africa have subsequently resulted in load-shedding for up to eight hours a day, resulting in a drop in the country’s economic productivity. Diversifying Zambia’s energy mix and tapping into its vast clean energy generation potential will help fuel its economy development and satisfy the urgent need for electrification, says Access Power.
Once completed in 2019, the project will be owned and operated by Access Power and its strategic partner, EREN Renewable Energy, a global independent power producer.
The $275 million wind farm will generate around 500 GWh of clean electricity, making it one of the largest renewable energy projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to Access Power. It will also increase Zambia’s power generation capacity by 6% and help cut back on the load-shedding.
“Today, there are no wind projects in Zambia. We are, therefore, very excited to begin working with USTDA to bring this pioneering project to life and open up this promising sector of Zambia’s economy,” says Reda El Chaar, executive chairman of Access Power. “This undertaking further solidifies our commitment in providing viable and sustainable solutions for the urgent electrification of Africa.”