NTPC eyes 1 GW solar projects in Africa

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State-owned power generator NTPC Limited is eyeing nearly 1 GW of solar power projects in Africa through the International Solar Alliance (ISA). This push for overseas projects is in line with the NTPC’s strategy to gain from the $1-million contribution it made to the ISA fund corpus last year, according to BusinessLine.

“We are looking to develop nearly 1,000 MW of solar power projects in African countries that are members of the International Solar Alliance. We are currently in the discussion phase. We hope to gain some leverage in these countries due to our association with the ISA,” a top NTPC official was quoted as saying by BusinessLine.

This will be the first time that the NTPC will be developing solar power projects overseas.

Notably, unavailability of power and costly grid power are the two most pressing concerns for ISA member countries like those in Africa.

“The ISA is working to bring bankable projects [to] member countries. For instance, [the] Affordable Finance at Scale program is built around a unique financial instrument that is being developed with the objective of de-risking and reducing the financial cost of solar projects in … ISA member countries. The instrument will help diversify and pool risks on mutual public resources, and unlock significant investments,” interim Director-General Upendra Tripathy told pv magazine in an exclusive interview.

To date, the ISA has attracted 121 member countries and, at last count, 65 countries are signatories to the association’s Framework Agreement. It has set a target of adding 1 TW of solar energy capacity by 2030, which will require an investment of around US$1 trillion.

NTPC is also looking at consultancy opportunities in Morocco, Oman and some African countries, and hopes to offer its expertise in thermal as well and hydro power projects, according to the BusinessLine report.