Investors and factories associations are seeking to establish solar power plants to reduce their electricity consumption bill to lower monthly expenses.
The Electricity Law allows the private sector to establish renewable energy plants and sell electricity directly to consumers, for a price 10%-17% lower than the price the government is offering.
Ayman Reda, Secretary-General of the 10th of Ramadan Investors Association, said that the association would arrange a meeting with four companies specialised in the construction of solar power plants next month.
He added that these companies offered to meet with members of the association to possibly offer help in establishing solar power plants inside or near to factories. They also offered to provide the necessary financing in cooperation with some banks.
Furthermore, Reda explained that factories looking to convert production towards new and renewable energy to provide for their own electricity needs. Also, with the surplus energy they create, they will add energy to the electricity grid, bringing in additional profits for themselves.
He pointed out that despite the high initial investment costs investors face when establishing power plants, the future is headed quickly to a green economy, especially in light of the government’s tendency to liberalise energy prices
One of the city’s investors, Adel El-Shanawani the Managing Director of El Delta for Sweets said that he built a solar power plant in 2016 on an area of 2,400 square metres above his factory in 2016, with investments of about $230,000.
El-Shanawani added that the establishment of the plant took place right before the currency flotation, which played a major role in lowering the cost, a complete opposite of his original plan of waiting until the end of the economic reforms which would have doubled the project’s investment cost.
He explained that the maximum power of the plant is 350 kW per hour, as it depends on the availability of photovoltaic energy generated by the sun. The company will also install a meter that calculates the surplus electric power so to sell to the Ministry of Electricity.
El-Shanawani pointed out that the solar power plant established by the company contributed to reducing the electricity bill.
Similarly, Bahaa El Adly, Chairperson of the Investors Association of Badr City said that the government’s move towards investing in the new and renewable energy sector is a good step, especially as it comes in cooperation with the private sector.
By generating electricity, the private sector will contribute to lifting a large part of the burden placed on the government.
El Adly explained that some factories in Badr City began to establish solar power plants to diversify their investment portfolio and reduce their electricity expenses.
He ruled out the idea of establishing central stations to generate electricity for the factories of the city, saying that there is no shortage of electricity at the moment. El
El Adly further explained that the ministry has already raised the capacity of the city’s power plant from 100 to 155 MW, and there is another plant with a capacity of 160 MW.
He pointed out that the problem that the city was facing, and is still facing, were power outages in the network. However, that problem was partially solved over the previous phase of network refortification.
On the other hand, Fouad Amin, president of the Investors Association for 15 of May City, said the city’s factories would be tempted to buy electricity produced through solar power plants, if their price was lower than, or equal to, the price provided by the government.
However, he said the association did not rule out the idea of establishing a central solar plant station in the city, as long as there are proper incentives and funding provided by the state. “We are especially keen since investors were looking to construct a station to convert rubber and plastic into diesel, but the lower offer from the government prevented investors from proceeding.
Ibrahim Metawie KarmSolar’s general manager said that his company obtained the first license to sell electricity directly to consumers, and then it sold the produced energy to Juhayna. His company also contracted with Dakahlia Poultry to sell electricity with a capacity of 5.7 MW. It charges a lower price than electricity distribution companies.
He added that the company is currently building a solar power plant in Wadi Natrun with a capacity of 17 MW, and will sell the capacity produced from the project to the Dakahlia Poultry, for a lower price than what the government offers.
He explained that the company is negotiating with several companies in Minya and Beni Suef to sell electricity to them. Metawie explained there is a high demand for factories and companies because they cannot bear the cost of establishing a plant by themselves.
Hisham El-Gamal, Public Relations and HR director at Infinity Solar, said that the company plans to launch solar power plants and sell 200 MW in the first phase following the IPP, which includes selling energy directly to consumers for less money.
He added that the company has agreed with a group of high-consumption companies and factories to sell electricity directly to them through solar power stations for an attractive price for 15 to 25 years, but did not disclose the value of the tariff provided.