IPP Access Aussenkehr starts work on the 20 MWp Khan solar power plant

NAMIBIA – Independent power producer (IPP) Access Aussenkehr Solar One Namibia has launched the construction of the Khan solar photovoltaic power plant in the Erongo province of Namibia.

The project involves the construction of a ground-mounted solar photovoltaic power plant with a capacity of 20 MWp.

The Namibia-based independent power producer (IPP) will invest no less than N$300 million (US$20.6 million), according to NamPower.

“The Khan solar project is a significant contribution to the realisation of NamPower’s capacity expansion, which is part of our integrated strategy and business plan,” said the state-owned power company.

Access Aussenkehr Solar has awarded the construction (EPC) of its solar plant to HopSol. Under the contract, the Windhoek, Namibia-based company will install 33,000 solar panels, 100 inverters and related equipment on a 16-hectare site.

In order to optimise its production, the plant will be equipped with 67 single-axis trackers that allow the attached solar panels to follow the sun’s movement from east to west.

The electricity generated at Khan will be sold to NamPower under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA). The price per kWh of electricity has been set at US$0.495.

The project developer has previously planned to commission the plant in 2022. The project is in line with Namibia’s energy policy to generate 70% of its electricity from renewable sources.

With an installed capacity of 680 MW, Namibia produces 70% of its electricity from renewable sources, including solar, hydro and wind. But the country imports 60% of its electricity from South Africa, through the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) according to Power Africa.

However, more than 80% of South Africa’s state-owned Eskom’s electricity network is powered by coal-fired power stations.

Second green bond in Namibia

In the meantime, the green bond market is taking hold in Namibia. The southern African country has recorded its second transaction thanks to Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) raising US$24.3 million to finance green housing and renewable energy.

The South African bank conducted the transaction for First National Bank (FNB Namibia) to raise funds on the capital market to finance green projects in Namibia. The green bond listed on the Namibia Stock Exchange (NSX) raised N$353 million (US$24.3 million) in three and five-year bonds.

According to RMB, the proceeds of the bonds will be managed by FNB, which will provide loans to finance green projects in Namibia, including the construction of green buildings and renewable energy production.

Namibia’s first green bond was issued by Bank Windhoek, a commercial bank listed on the NSX. The bank raised US$4 million, which was used to finance solar energy projects for productive use, particularly in the agricultural sector. Globally, the green bond market has grown exponentially, by more than 100% per year (as of December 2021).

Africa accounts for only 0.03% of this global market (as of December 2021). African countries entering the green bond market include South Africa, Kenya and Egypt.

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