A consortium led by Enel Green Power (EGP) has been selected as the preferred bidder to develop a 100MW photovoltaic (PV) solar project in Metehara, Ethiopia.

The selection follows a solar tender issued by local utility Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) as part of the Ethiopian Government’s Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP 2).

Comprising Ethiopia-based infrastructure company Orchid Business Group, the consortium has secured the right to develop, build, and operate the proposed facility. A sum of around $120m is expected to be invested by the EGP-led consortium to construct the plant, which is scheduled to enter operation by 2019.

Once commissioned, the plant will be able to produce roughly 280GWh of energy per year, and can help avoid emissions of around 296,000t of carbon dioxide into the air.

The facility will be supported by a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with EEP.

“Ethiopia boasts a stable regulatory framework, based on tenders and PPAs.”

EGP head Antonio Cammisecra said: “Ethiopia has all the potential to become a key market for Enel’s strategy in Africa.

“The country has plenty of renewable sources that can generate energy at affordable rates thanks to modern green technologies.

“In addition, Ethiopia boasts a stable regulatory framework, based on tenders and PPAs, and steady energy demand growth, which is also sustained by a long-term electrification plan.”

Through its GTP 2, the Ethiopian Government intends to develop nearly 12,000MW of new hydro, wind, geothermal, and solar capacity to meet the country’s electrification requirements and diversify its generation mix.