Sierra Leone’s Unveils $52million Solar Revolution Funding at COP28.
By Faridat Salifu
In a landmark development on the sidelines of the 28th United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP28) in Dubai, a coalition of international investment entities has unveiled a groundbreaking $52 million financing initiative to establish four solar photovoltaic power plants in Sierra Leone.
This monumental endeavor marks a pivotal stride in bolstering the country’s solar capacity, signifying the collaborative efforts of leading finance institutions to drive sustainable energy access and economic growth in the West African nation.
The visionary project, spearheaded by Planet One in collaboration with Frontier Energy, sets forth a monumental goal to enhance Sierra Leone’s installed solar capacity, positioning the nation on a trajectory of sustainable energy development.
Embracing the synergy of renewable energy and impactful progress, the investment consortium comprising the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO), British International Investment (BII), and Proparco, the private sector financing arm of the French Development Agency (AFD), has pledged a resounding testament to reinforce the transition towards stable, clean, and affordable electricity in Sierra Leone.
Lauding the landmark financing initiative, Lars Tejlgaard Jensen, Chief Investment Officer and Partner at Frontier Energy, extolled the tenacity and expertise underpinning the solar project, emphasizing the pivotal role in nurturing economic vibrancy while extending the benefits of reliable electricity to urban and rural communities, as well as commercial and industrial entities.
The transformative impact of the envisioned solar infrastructure promises to fortify regional economic activities and uplift livelihoods, thereby catalyzing a sustainable paradigm of growth and development.
The resounding resonance of this initiative originates from the irrefutable imperative to address Sierra Leone’s pressing electricity deficit, with nearly 80% of the populace currently bereft of access to essential electricity services.
Reinforcing the transformative potential, Proparco envisages a monumental 30% increase in domestic electricity supply, underscoring the catalytic influence that a 50 MW installed capacity holds in ameliorating energy access across the nation.
The deployment of four solar photovoltaic power plants across strategic sites embodies a strategic march towards energy transformation.
The largest solar plant, poised at 25 MWp in Makoth, stands as a beacon of hope, extending its reach to the capital city of Freetown through the 161 kV Freetown/Bambuna.