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Two U.S. companies to build solar farms in Ethiopia

Staff writer |
Global Trade Development Consulting and Energy Ventures of Maryland have been awarded the contract by the Ethiopian Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy and the Board of Directors of the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) to build, operate, and transfer three 100-MW solar farms in Eastern Ethiopia.

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Solar PV Electricity generating systems are emerging renewable energy technologies and can be developed as viable option for electricity generation in future. This project also improve the provision of power supply in terms of quantity and quality through the enhancement of generation capacity mix of the Ethiopian national grid system and reduction of system losses and provision of alternative electricity green energy solution.

The Integrated energy policy of Ethiopia envisages electricity generation installed capacity of more than 20,000 MW by 2020 and substantial contribution would be from renewable energy, resource.

Ethiopia is in the initial set of countries in President Barack Obama's "Power Africa" initiative. In addition to the needed power generation capacity, this 300 Megawatt Solar Project will contribute to economic development resulting in the creation of more than 2,000 construction jobs that would inject additional revenue to the Ethiopian economy. Ongoing plant operations would yield several hundred new jobs as well.

"Zhis project represents a significant advance in our Ethiopian energy initiative and is now part of our comprehensive Energy Plan. Given Ethiopia's large hydro-electric generation capacity and now wind and geothermal power generation coming on-line, large scale solar fits nicely into our energy portfolio and will provide significant power generation capacity much faster than the other renewable technologies. We welcome this project with open arms," said Alemayehu Tegenu, Minister of water, irrigation and energy of Ethiopia.

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