MOZAMBIQUE – The London, UK-based renewable energy provider Solarcentury Africa has closed the financing of a solar photovoltaic plant at the Balama graphite mine in Mozambique.
The plant will be combined with a battery power storage system to power Syrah Resources’ facilities.
The undisclosed amount of funding is being provided by CrossBoundary Energy (CBE); a financial partner now well known in the productive solar energy sector in Africa.
“We are immensely proud of our engineering team for achieving an industry-leading 35% renewable energy penetration rate that will significantly reduce Syrah’s CO2 emissions,” said Jason De Carteret, Solarcentury Africa’s managing director.
Located in the Cabo Delgado province in northern Mozambique, the Balama mine is operated by Canadian company Syrah Resources.
The project for which Solarcentury Africa is closing the financing involves the construction of an 11.25 MWp solar power plant.
The plant will be combined with an 8.5 MW/MWh battery electricity storage system. The system will combine with the thermal power plant that has been extracting graphite from Balama.
Under the agreement with Syrah Resources, Solarcentury will build, own and operate the solar power plant for a period of 10 years.
After this period, ownership will be transferred to the mine operator. Before that, however, Solarcentury will set up a special purpose vehicle to implement its project.
This partnership allows Syrah Resources to reduce the environmental footprint of its Balama mine, but more importantly to reduce its electricity bills.
Syrah Resources estimates that the solar system will reduce the use of diesel in its mining operations by 35%. This is a boon in a global context marked by volatile fossil fuel prices. “At times, the hybrid power system will be able to supply up to 100% of the mine’s electricity needs,” says Solarcentury.
Solarcentury Africa is a company specializing in solar photovoltaic and storage projects on the continent. For the past decade, the company has been providing clean, cost-effective energy to a variety of businesses, communities, and investors by designing solutions that leverage smart technologies.
In December last year, Solarcentury Africa signed a joint development agreement for the Nkhoma Deka solar farm project in Malawi.
The renewable energy facility will have a capacity of 50 MWp and will enable the East African country to increase electricity generation by 1,000 MWp by 2025.
This is a key strategic partnership to develop the Nkhoma Deka solar park project in Malawi. Solarcentury Africa and Renewable Energy Services Africa (RESA), headquartered in London, UK, will work in synergy to develop this 50 MWp renewable and reliable energy facility.
The developers of the project, which also includes battery storage, have already secured some 150 hectares of land for on-site solar power generation and export with the support of the local community of Nkhoma. According to the government, this facility will increase the country’s power generation capacity by 1,000 MW by 2025.
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