New company established to develop small hydropower in Zambia

New Africa Power has been formed to develop a set of small hydropower projects for submission to the GET FiT program being planned for Zambia.

Specifically, New Africa Power will develop a 65-MW portfolio of small run-of-river hydro projects. The company has committed US$4.6 million for the feasibility phase of the development, which is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2018.

In a next step, New Africa Power will develop the projects for submission under the renewable energy feed-in-tariff program.

GET FiT is a program founded managed by German development bank KfW that is designed to implement Zambia’s first renewable energy feed-in tariff (REFiT) program. The REFiT strategy calls for 200 MW of small renewables (1 MW to 20 MW) to be built in Zambia over a three-year period. This strategy was approved by the Zambian cabinet in July and formally launched by the Ministry of Energy in October. Eligible technologies include hydro, solar photovoltaic, geothermal, biomass, waste energy and wind power.

According to its website, GET FiT Zambia will commence in early 2018 with a solar photovoltaic tender of up to 100 MW.

Construction on the first hydro plant to be developed by New Africa Power is expected to start in 2020.

This new company is a cooperation between Norfund, Vineyard and ResponsAbility Renewable Energy Holdings.

In Zambia, only 25% of the urban and 3% of the rural population has access to electricity, Norfund says.

In other recent Zambia news, HydroWorld reported in October that Zesco Limited was seeking to rehabilitate and double the generating capacity of its 6.2-MW Chishimba Falls hydro station.

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