The multi-stakeholder Mega Solar initiative is Southern Africa’s largest solar power program and the first of its kind on the continent. Power Africa is providing and facilitating technical to advance multi-phased procurement of up to 5 gigawatts of renewable solar energy with a focus on projects in Botswana and Namibia.
With abundant sunlight and high solar irradiance potential, Southern Africa is an ideal location for large-scale solar power projects. The first phase of the Mega Solar initiative centers on the competitive procurement of 300-500 megawatts of solar power in Namibia and Botswana, which will catalyze the procurement of additional generation that can supply low-cost renewable energy to neighboring countries once regional transmission lines are constructed.
The Mega Solar initiative is a commitment to large-scale solar development collaboration between Power Africa, the Governments of Botswana and Namibia, the African Development Bank, the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the International Finance Corporation.
Power Africa is coordinating partner activities, supporting technical studies and institutional capacity building, and working with counterparts to establish the governance structures that will guide country-level project implementation.
MEGA SOLAR PARTNERS
Through the Mega Solar initiative, Power Africa strives to build consensus and ensure the buy-in of local and regional stakeholders, leading to aligned and coordinated delivery of technical assistance resources by focusing on:
- Building regional awareness of the large-scale solar procurement program;
- Establishing governance bodies for consensus-building among local and regional actors and streamlining of key decisionmaking; and
- Identifying technical and enabling environment challenges and assisting governments and other stakeholders to customize and implement solutions for successful procurements.
Key stakeholders include but are not limited to:
- Ministries of Energy and Finance and other local authorities in Namibia and Botswana;
- National utilities and regulators;
- Southern African Development Community (SADC) and its subsidiary bodies (SAPP, SACREEE, RERA);
- International financial institutions; and
- Collaborating Power Africa partners.
Based on priorities outlined by country-level governance bodies to be established in Namibia and Botswana, and building upon the affirmed and evidence-based potential for a large-scale solar procurement program, Power Africa aims to support pre-feasibility and feasibility studies as well as other technical studies related to plant and system designs, transmission requirements, grid integration, and other areas that will assess the economic and financial viability of large-scale procurements. Power Africa also seeks to maximize its impact by fully leveraging the deployment of partner resources.
STRENGTHENING INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY
Strengthening the institutional, technical, and legal capacity of countries in the region is critical to the successful implementation of large-scale solar procurement programs. Power Africa works alongside government stakeholders and provides assistance on:
- Enhancements to legal and regulatory frameworks
- Technical assistance to support system planning and operations
- Establishment of national procurement units
- Procurement design
- Environmental and social impact considerations
- Increased readiness for regional electricity trade
FROM OUR BLOG
Major Milestone Agreement Reached for Mega Solar in Southern Africa
Mega Solar is a partnership between Power Africa and the Governments of the Republic of Botswana and Namibia, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank), and the African Development Bank to support the development of Southern Africa’s largest solar-generation program, which is estimated to result in 2–5 gigawatts of solar power.
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