Egypt inaugurates 1.8GW solar park worth $2.8bn
Egypt has inaugurated the first solar power plant at a remote desert complex where the government plans to generate as much as 1.8 gigawatts from the sun
Egypt has inaugurated the first solar power plant at a remote desert complex where the government plans to generate as much as 1.8 gigawatts from the sun.
The move is widely expected to curtail heavy dependence on fossil fuels by the most populous Arab nation.
The plant, developed by Germany-based Ib Vogt GmbH and a local company called Infinity Solar Systems, began supplying the national grid in December, Ib Vogt Chief Executive Officer Anton Milner said this week in an interview.
The 64-megawatt facility is the first of 32 units that the government targets for construction at Benban Solar park in southeastern Aswan province. The project, with all the plants, is to be completed next year at a cost of $2.8 billion, reported Bloomberg.
“In this plant, we have 200,000 solar panels and 780 sun trackers that allow the panels to move toward the solar position throughout the day,” Amine el-Edghiri, Ib Vogt’s project manager, said during a media tour of the facility 650 kilometers (400 miles) south of Cairo on the fringes of the Nubian Desert, reported Bloomberg.
The photovoltaic modules arrayed across 95 hectares (235 acres) can produce enough power to supply 20,000 households, el-Edghiri said.
Egypt currently produces more than 90% of its power from oil and natural gas, according to data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Benban Solar park, along with other projects in planning, should help Egypt scale back its use of hydrocarbons as the country targets generating 20 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2022.
The Middle East is stepping up its adoption of renewable energy with several countries setting new targets aimed at increasing percentage of power generated from clean energy sources.