The American company iQ Power Inc has allocated $300m to invest in solar energy projects in Egypt in the coming period.
Sharif Alhaj, CEO and business development director of iQ Power for Egypt, said that the company aims to sign contracts with capacities reaching 300 MW, with plans to work within alliances to study tenders put forward by the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC).
The Ministry of Electricity aims to contract with the investors on two schemes: competitive tenders, which are administered through the EETC putting forward projects on BOO (build, own, operate) schemes, while the other system is done through offering an independent power producer (IPP), in which investors sell the electricity they produce directly to consumers via the national electricity grid and pay fees to the government.
Alhaj told Daily News Egypt that iQ Power has teamed up with Gigawatt Global and Power House to launch a 3 MW solar power plant to provide electric power to a hotel in the Red Sea region.
He explained that the project will be implemented over four phases, each outputting 750 kW. He noted that other hotels have requested to obtain feed directly from the company, which will be examined next month.
According to the agreement, the company will produce and sell energy directly to consumers, known as an IPP system, which involves the investor contracting directly with consumers. The contracting company will pay the electricity transfer fees to the Ministry of Electricity.
Alhaj explained that his company signed an agreement to sell energy to the hotel for 25 years, pricing a kilowatt at less than the price of the EETC, noting that the hotel used to rely on costly diesel for electricity.
According to the Electricity Law, each consumer has the freedom to choose their own electricity supplier and the Egyptian electricity market is based on free competition. Consumers have the right to contract with production companies or verified distributors via bilateral contracts.
The Ministry of Electricity has developed a plan to implement new and renewable energy projects as part of its strategy to diversify sources of electricity production. It includes the production of 20% of Egypt’s total electricity from new and renewable sources by 2020.