West Africa to get renewable energy projects worth US$1bn

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Solar developer Gigawatt Global has signed a deal with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to build US$1bn worth of renewable energy projects in the region.

According to the signed memorandum of understanding, Gigawatt Global will install 800MW of solar and wind farms in West Africa, beginning with Burkina Faso, Senegal, Mali, Nigeria and the Gambia.

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The project, funded by the US government through its Power Africa initiative, will help build the West Africa Power Pool, a unit within ECOWAS. Power Africa will be a lead source of funds for the projects and is anticipating bringing in other investors including development banks. The funds are expected to have a split of 80% debt and 20% equity.

According to Gigawatt Global’s CEO Yosef Abramowitz, energy scarcity can be eliminated even in smaller and less developed ECOWAS states with the leverage of a regional strategy.

Energiya Global, also headed by Yosef Abramowitz, will do the ground work including feasibility studies, training courses and the signing of power purchase agreements before the project development kicks off in early 2019.