Last year, Masdar announced plans to set up renewable energy projects in Egypt as part of its plan to expand into the emerging markets of Middle East and North Africa. The special projects unit of Masdar has now announced that it commissioned a total capacity of 30 MW capacity various parts of Egypt. This includes utility-scale hybrid solar power projects as well as off-grid solar power systems with facility of storage.
The largest of the utility-scale project has a capacity of 10 MW and its located in Siwa. The project generates over 17,500 MWh every year and meets 30% of the area’s electricity demand. An additional 6 projects with combined generation capacity of 20 MW were also commissioned.
Solar power panels have been added to existing diesel-based power systems thus creating solar-diesel hybrid power systems. The capacity of these projects is between 0.5 MW and 6 MW. According to Masdar press release, the projects ‘save costs associated with the purchase and transport of diesel, reducing risk of fuel price increases and supply shortages, and greatly reduce CO2 emissions.’
ACWA Power and Masdar had signed an agreement with Egyptian Electricity Holding Company to develop 2 GW of renewable energy capacity, including 1.5 GW solar power and 500 MW wind energy capacity. The companies are expected to start the capacity development with a 200 MW solar photovoltaic power plant.
Masdar group also set up 7,000 off-grid solar power systems in remote areas of Egypt which had no access to electricity. The systems consist of two solar panels, two batteries with up to two days of storage capacity and lighting units. These systems have been set up at homes, mosques, clinics, schools and community centres.