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USTDA approves grant funding for Access Power’s Zambian wind project

CTBR Staff Writer Published 12 June 2017

Access Power is set to obtain a grant funding from the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) for its 130MW wind power project in Zambia.

The USTDA grant will be used for financing the feasibility study and costs associated with the development of the $275m wind project.

Announcement regarding the grant approval was done in Copenhagen, Denmark on the sidelines of the Africa Energy Forum.

USTDA Sub-Saharan Africa regional director Lida Fitts said: "USTDA is pleased to partner with Access Power on this landmark wind project.

“Using a combination of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, both areas where U.S. technologies excel, has the potential to reduce Zambia's electricity costs and energize its economy."

Upon its completion in 2019, Access Power and its partner EREN Renewable Energy will own and operate the Zambian wind power plant.

Expected to generate about 500GWh of green electricity, the wind farm is touted to be listed among the largest renewable energy projects to have come up in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Power generation in Zambia is likely to go up by 6% after the new wind power plant is commissioned. Further, it would help the country bring down its load shedding which has been impacting its economic growth.

Access Power executive chairman Reda El Chaar said: "Today, there are no wind projects in Zambia. We are therefore very excited to begin working with USTDA to bring this pioneering project to life and open up this promising sector of Zambia's economy.

“This undertaking further solidifies our commitment in providing viable and sustainable solutions for the urgent electrification of Africa."

Zambia’s electricity has been generated primarily from hydroelectric sources, making up 96% of the total electricity production. However, prolonged droughts in Southern Africa in the recent times meant severe load shedding for about 8 hours a day.

By tapping into the rich clean energy power generation potential, Access Power says that Zambia will help drive its economy development forward while meeting the urgent requirement for electrification.

Image: Zambia Energy and Water Development Minister David Mabumba with officials of USTDA and Access Power. Photo: courtesy of Access Power.