The current Cuamba substation has been upgraded to guarantee that fluctuating solar energy is effectively integrated into the system.
This was done against the backdrop of the formal start of commercial operations at Mozambique’s 19MWp Cuamba Solar PV and 7MWh battery energy storage facility.
The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, a member of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), contributed $19 million in loan capital for the Cuamba project.
The plant supplies clean energy to Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM), the Mozambican national power utility, through a 25-year power purchase agreement. It provides power for around 22,000 Mozambican families. It will displace more 172,000 tonnes of CO2 over the lifespan of the project.
BII Plus, the technical assistance facility of British International Investment, contributed a $1m grant towards the battery energy storage system.
Independent power company Globeleq and its project partners, Source Energia, an energy developer focused on Lusophone Africa, and EDM, confirmed on November 1 that they received formal notification from EDM (the off-taker) that commercial operations at the plant began on 12 September.
Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi, said at the inauguration on 14 September: “The Cuamba solar and storage plant will provide greater energy security and stability in this region of Mozambique and marks a turning point for the Cuamba district.
“This is the third large-scale solar plant in Mozambique and the second that has had the support of the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Norway, two long-time friend and partner countries.
“We expect to build more renewable projects like this and look forward to initiating the Namaacha project, the first wind project in our country.”
Carlos Zacarias, Mozambique’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, said the plant aims to increase energy availability in the country.
This would be achieved through public and private investments, “with growing contribution from renewable energy sources; and addresses a strategic objective outlined in the government’s Five-Year Programme.”
“In doing so, we are creating the essential conditions for industrialisation, job creation and an energy transition.”