Benban Solar Park

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Benban Solar Park
Official name حديقة بنبان للطاقة الشمسية
Country Egypt
Location Benban, Aswan Governorate
Coordinates 24°27′21.6″N 32°44′20.4″E / 24.456000°N 32.739000°E / 24.456000; 32.739000Coordinates: 24°27′21.6″N 32°44′20.4″E / 24.456000°N 32.739000°E / 24.456000; 32.739000
Status Under construction
Commission date 2019 (2019)
Construction cost US$4 billion
Owner(s) New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA)
Solar field
Type Flat-panel PV
Site area 37.2 km2 (14.4 sq mi)
Site resource 2,300 kWh/(yr*m2)
Power generation
Nameplate capacity 1,650 MW (planned)
Capacity factor 26%
Annual net output 3,8 TWh/yr (planned)

Benban Solar Park is a photovoltaic power station under construction with a planned total capacity of 1650 MWp which corresponds to an annual production of approximately 3,8 TWh. It is located in Benban (Aswan Governorate) in the western desert, approximately 650 km south of Cairo and 40 km northwest of Aswan.[1] Once completed, Benban will be the largest solar installation in the world.[2][3]

Overview[edit]

Benban Solar Park located on an area of 37.2 km2 (14.4 sq mi) which is subdivided into 41 separate plots arranged in 4 rows with each plot range in size from 0.3 km2 (0.12 sq mi) to 1 km2 (0.39 sq mi). Each plot will be available to different companies to develop 41 plants.

The 41 plants in the Benban solar park will be connected to the high voltage network through four new substations, which will be constructed on the site by the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC). These substations will in turn connect to an existing 220 kV line, which passes near the Benban Site at a distance of approximately 12 km. At a later stage EETC may also construct an additional connection to the neighbouring 500 kV line.[2]

According to measurements reported in the environmental & social assessment report[2] the solar site resource is approximately 2,300 kWh/(m2,yr). Assuming a peak insolation of 1000 W/m2 this translates to a potential plant capacity factor of approximately 26%, i.e. the average capacity will be 26% of the nameplate capacity. If the planned capacity of 1,8 GW is utilized the potential annual energy production will be slightly more than 4 TWh/yr.

The Benban Solar Park is a part of Egypt’s Nubian Suns Feed-in Tariff program, which is a major initiative to influence private sector capital and expertise, in order to support the goal of generating 20% electricity from renewable resources by 2022.[4][5]

Commissioning status[edit]

On March 13, 2018 the first 50 MWp section of the plant called "Infinity 50" was started and connected to the grid.[6] Assuming a plant capacity factor of 26% this corresponds to an annual production of 114 GWh or 0.11 TWh. The total electricity consumption in Egypt (2015) was 182 TWh[7]

Finance[edit]

On March 13, ib vogt and Infinity Solar inaugurated the first part of the complex in the presence of the Egyptian Energy Minister, Prof. Dr. Mohamed Shaker Almraqbi. With an output of 64.1 MWp, it is also the country's first large-scale photovoltaic power plant. The project obtained financing from Bayerische Landesbank (BLB) for 85% of the debt, with the remaining 15% coming from Arab African International Bank (AAIB). The German government has provided an Euler Hermes export credit guarantee (ECG), covering the BLB loan. As part of the German foreign trade promotion programme, it thus supports Egypt's goal of meeting more than a third of its energy requirements by 2035 through renewable energies.

At the end of January, ib vogt commenced construction of a portfolio of three additional solar power plants with a total capacity of 166.5 MWp in Benban, Aswan Governorate, Egypt. The project partners – an international conglomerate consisting of ib vogt, Infinity Solar, Phoenix Energy and BPE Partners – achieved financial close at the end of October. Debt financing amounting to USD 146 Million was secured for these projects. For the “BSEP 50” and “MMID 30” installations financing has been provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Dutch Development Bank (FMO) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the CDC Group provided the financing for the “Phoenix 50” project.

The International Finance Corporation led a consortium of Africa Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Arab Bank of Bahrain, CDC Group, Europe Arab Bank, Finance in Motion, FinnFund, ICBC, and OeEB of Austria by pledging US$653 million to finance building and operating 13 plants by six groups of private power companies, including, TAQA Arabia, Shapoorji Energy, a subsidiary of Shapoorji Pallonji Group and Acciona Energy.[8] The 13 solar power plants, which are expected to have a peak power of 752 MW, will cost US$823 million in total.[9][10] Assuming a capacity factor of 26% this corresponds to an annual production of 1,75 TWh/yr.

Also the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, will provide US$210 million in political risk insurance to 12 projects within Benban.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (11 April 2018). "Egypt: China's Green Energy Company Starts Construction of Biggest Solar Plant in Egypt". Beijing: Forum on China-Africa Cooperation via AllAfrica.com. Retrieved 23 April 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c "Benban 1.8GW PV Solar Park, Egypt Strategic Environmental & Social Assessment Final Report" (PDF). Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency. EcoConServ Environmental Solutions. February 2016. Retrieved 29 December 2017. 
  3. ^ Raven, Andrew (October 2017). "A New Solar Park Shines a Light on Egypt's Energy Potential". International Finance Corporation. Retrieved 29 December 2017. 
  4. ^ "IFC-Led Consortium Invests $653 Million to Develop 13 Solar Projects in Egypt - Mercom India". Mercom India. 1 November 2017. Retrieved 29 December 2017. 
  5. ^ Warrier, Ranju (8 November 2017). "Banks Invest $653 Million To Build The World's Largest Solar Park In Egypt". Forbes Middle East. Retrieved 29 December 2017. 
  6. ^ Reda, Lolwa (2018-03-13). "Benban solar plant starts operating, Egypt targets 37% clean energy by 2035: Shaker". egypttoday.com. Egypt today. Retrieved 2018-04-25. 
  7. ^ "Egypt: Electricity and Heat for 2015". IEA - International Energy Agency. Retrieved 2018-04-25. 
  8. ^ "Egypt signs $653 million funding deal with IFC for Benban solar park". Energy Egypt. 30 October 2017. Retrieved 29 December 2017. 
  9. ^ "UK says investing $97 mln in Upper Egypt's Benban Solar Park - Economy - Business - Ahram Online". english.ahram.org.eg. Al-Ahram. 30 October 2017. Retrieved 29 December 2017. 
  10. ^ a b Arnold, Tom (29 October 2017). "UPDATE 1-IFC and banks close $653 mln in funding for Egypt solar plant". Reuters. Retrieved 29 December 2017.