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CAMEROON: Private solar farms in Maroua and Guider to be expanded to 64 MWp

TagsEnergy Access, Finance and Investment, Renewable Energy
solar farms

As load shedding continues to plague economic activities across Cameroon, Norwegian company Release by Scatec has reached an agreement with the authorities and utility Eneo to extend its solar power plants in Maroua and Guider.

Almost a year after commissioning its Maroua and Guider photovoltaic solar power plants, Release by Scatec, a subsidiary of Norwegian energy company Scatec, wants to increase their electricity production capacity. This expansion project was recently approved by the Cameroonian authorities and the public utility Eneo. The company, which leases its plant to Eneo, will add 28.6 MWp of solar power generation capacity to the two plants and 19.2 MWh of battery electricity storage capacity.

The Release by Scatec solar power plants have “greatly benefited the local population in northern Cameroon by eliminating power cuts. This new project will further reduce our dependence on diesel and save the government millions of dollars in fuel costs”, explained Gaston Eloundou Essomba, Cameroon’s Minister of Water and Energy.

Availability of financial resources

The extension project will increase the combined capacity of the Maroua and Guider solar power plants to 64.4 MWp and 38.2 MWh of battery storage capacity. These facilities will then be capable of supplying around 200,000 households in Cameroon, according to Eneo’s estimates, generating an annual output of around 141.5 GWh of electricity. “Combined with the storage capacity, the installation will ensure a stable supply of electricity, even during peak hours”, assures Release by Scatec.

The company, headed by Hans Olav Kvalvaag, is confident that it has the necessary capital to implement its expansion project. In July 2023, Release secured $102 million in equity financing (32%) from Climate Fund Managers (CFM), a fund manager based in The Hague in the Netherlands.

The Maroua and Guider solar power plants, which have been in service since September 2023, required an investment of 17 billion CFA francs (nearly 26 million euros), made jointly by Release and its partners Izuba Energy and Sphinx Energy. The two plants, which have a combined capacity of 36 MWp, benefited from an €11 million guarantee from Gabon-based BGFI Bank.