Saudi Arabian energy developer ACWA Power has won a 250MW duo of World Bank-backed solar projects in eastern Ethiopia.

The firm was one of five companies that submitted proposals for the projects, after the Ethiopian finance ministry’s public-private partnership directorate general launched a request for proposals in April.

The projects are sponsored under the Scaling Solar programme, run by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) – the World Bank’s private sector arm – to provide private funding for solar development in emerging markets. 

Ethiopia’s finance ministry claims the US$0.02526-per-kWh tariff offered by the firm for the two sites is “the lowest in Africa and one of the lowest globally”

The Gad and Dicheto projects are planned for the eastern regional states of Somali and Afar, and are part of a six-project portfolio that make up round two of Ethiopia’s Scaling Solar programme. The projects have 750MW of combined capacity and a price tag of US$798 million.

Round one of the programme was launched in 2017 and involved two solar projects totalling 250MW.

Scaling Solar programmes are also active in Senegal, Zambia and Madagascar.

ACWA Power is a developer, investor and operator of power generation and desalinated water production plants in Africa, the Middle East and south-east Asia.

Ethiopia wants to install 300MW of solar by 2020, up from the total PV capacity of 11MW recorded by IRENA statistics.

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