Construction works for phase 1 of a 600 MW photovoltaic plant in the Menkao district of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was launched by H.E. President Felix Tshisekedi on Tuesday.
The plant is part of the DRC’s global solar energy plan called Kinshasa Solar City, which aims to increase the stake of solar power in the country’s energy mix by building several solar plants that will generate up to 1,000 MW.
“The official launch of construction work on the solar power plant in the city of Kinshasa commits the country to another energy path which nature has graciously given us,” Gentiny Ngobila, Governor of Kinshasa, said at the launch.
The initiative is led by Sun Plus, local subsidiary of Washington-based conglomerate TSG. Phase one is expected to be finalized by 2021 and 90% of the plant’s employees will be Congolese nationals.
Kinshasa Solar City is a project developed by TSG in partnership with the City of Kinshasa and the national utility company Société Nationale d’Electricité. Its ultimate goal is to provide electricity in areas of the DRC that lack access to power.
Alongside hydrocarbon exploration and hydroelectric projects, solar power is an area of diversification which has been favored by the Congolese government in its quest to increase economic growth and provide universal access to power by 2030.