Democratic Republic of Congo Announces $100 Million Solar-Hybrid Power Project
A consortium led by Gridworks and including Eranove and AEE Power, has signed three concession agreements with the Ministry of Hydraulic Resources and Electricity of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The agreements will see the consortium develop, build and operate three large scale, solar-hybrid, off grid utilities. The infrastructure will transform the lives and livelihoods of half a million people by providing power to three cities, Gemena, Bumba and Isiro in the north of the country. The three cities currently have no grid connection, and struggle to access reliable, affordable and clean power.
The consortium was selected as the winning bidder for the Essor Access to Energy (A2E) Initiative (Essor Project) after an international tender process run by the Project Coordination and Management Unit of the Ministry of Hydraulic Resources and Electricity with support and funding from the UK government. The 22-year concession agreements were signed in Kinshasa by Gridworks’ CEO, Simon Hodson, on behalf of the consortium, and the Congolese Minister of Hydraulic Resources and Electricity, M. Mwenze Mukaleng; in the presence of the Governors of the three provinces, the UK’s Ambassador to the DRC, Emily Maltman; representatives of UCM; and other key Congolese energy stakeholders. For further information see the IDTechEx report on Distributed Generation: Off-Grid Zero-Emission kW-MW 2020-2040.
The governments of the UK and DRC have been key partners in the development of the Essor Project. Essor aims to encourage business growth, job creation, and improvements in health and education by building solar powered infrastructure to supply reliable and affordable electricity.