350 megawatts added to Egypt’s planned giant solar park in July

The operation capacity of the solar power plants built in Egypt’s planned giant solar park has reached 350 megawatts in July, an official source said on Tuesday.

Egypt is building a 1.6 gigawatt solar park in the Upper Egyptian city of Benban near Aswan under the Feed-in-Tariff programme.

The FiT programme aims to use private-sector capital and expertise to help achieve Egypt’s goal of providing 20 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2022.

The $2-3 billion Benban Solar Park project, set to be the world’s largest solar installation, has been partly funded by the World Bank, which invested $653 million through the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Some parts of the park are already operating on a small scale, while other areas are still undergoing testing.

These include four solar plants, run by Solar Installer, at total capacity of 200 megawatts in addition to three more, run by various private-sector companies, of 50 megawatts for each, the source in Benban Solar Energy Developer Association (BSDA) told Amwal Al Ghad.

Some companies have completed the construction of their solar plants in the park, including Infinity Solar; TAQA Arabia, Alcazar, FAS Energy, and Solar Installer, the source said.

Egypt aims to meet 20 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2022 and up to 40 percent by 2035. Renewable energy currently covers only around 3 percent of the country’s needs.

“Egypt’s energy sector reforms have opened a wider door for private sector investments,” World Bank President David Malpass said during his visit to the site last May.