The procurement of 120MW of solar energy is the first stage of implementation of the program which will contribute to the diversification of Zambia’s power mix while ensuring cost-reflective projects for Zambian end users.

Image of a solar plant

With support from the German Cooperation provided through KfW, the government of Zambia sought experienced and qualified developers and investors with a track record in developing, financing, procuring, constructing and operating utility-scale solar PV for projects with an individual installed capacity of up to 20 MWac for a total of up to 100MW. The tender allowed for bidders to be awarded up to two projects with a cumulative maximum capacity of 40MW.

The Solar tender was run as a two stage-bidding auction preceded by a pre-qualification stage (Request for Qualification) and a combined technical and financial scoring at the final bidding (Request for Proposal) stage which was launched February 2018.

In April 2019, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy announced the award of six (6) solar PV IPP projects, totalling 120MWac. The lowest successful bid came in at 3.999 USc/kWh and the weighted average of all six successful projects is 4.41 USc/kWh1. GET FiT Zambia Solar Awards are:

  • 1st Award – Two Proposals of Joint Venture Building Energy & Pele Energy – Bulemu East & West– 20MWac each at USDc 3.999/kWhac
  • 2nd Award- Two Proposals of Joint Venture Globeleq & Aurora Power Solutions – Aurora Sola One & Two – 20MWac each at USDc 4.52/kWhac
  • 3rd Award – Two Proposals of Joint Venture of InnoVent & CEC – Garneton North & South Solar 20MWac each at USDc 4.80/kWhac

Record Breaking Tender Results

The GET FiT Zambia Solar tender became the largest single Solar PV tender implemented in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to date outside of South Africa, the first time a tariff below 4 USc/kWh is achieved through a public tender in SSA. The tender had a target outcome of a total of 100MWac, but due to the favourable results, the GRZ and GET FiT Investment Committee awarded an additional 20MWac.


Local Capacity Building and Training

The GET FiT Programme also seeks to develop domestic skills within the renewable energy sector. The winning projects are required to implement components of local capacity building and training. The developers will develop a trainee program, hiring and training local university graduates in renewable energy project development through active training involvement for the duration of the project.

The consortia will partner with the University of Zambia (UNZA) Solar Centre of Excellency to host and deliver workshops to equip students with the knowledge of what it takes to develop and execute renewable energy projects. Regular updates on this will be provided in the GET FiT newsletter and on our News page.


Tender Design & Innovation

A truly competitive outcome. GET FiT Zambia has offered no form of grant financing, nor arranged for concessional financing. The tender also required developers to find and acquire their own suitable sites and pay for shallow grid connection, allowing for a truly competitive outcome of the tender. The GET FiT involvement in this regard is mainly associated with the development of bankable standardized transaction documents and facilitating access to competitive finance through ATI’s Regional Liquidity Support Facility.

Ensuring successful grid integration. Learning from the experience of the first GET FiT rollout, an assessment of the ability of projects to connect to the grid before the RfP stage – an Interim Rapid Grid Assessment (IRGA) – was part of the tender procedure. This assessment was considered in the proposal evaluation and will aid the successful integration of the Solar project portfolio into the Zambian grid.

Promoting local support and capacity building. Partnerships with local companies for the solar projects were considered in the proposal evaluation, rewarding projects that will enhance experience and competence of Zambian companies in the power sector. In addition, the development of a capacity building programme was considered in the tender evaluation. Their implementation will further contribute to local knowledge in the energy sector.


Participation in the Programme

The aim of the REFiT Strategy is to increase the grid capacity and national generation output through private sector investments in small and medium scale Renewable Energy projects of up to 20MW.

GET FiT Zambia is implementing the initial allocation of 200 MW which is divided into 100 MW hydropower and 100 MW non-hydropower (Solar PV). With the award of 120MW of solar PV projects and the completion of pre-qualification of the small hydro, there are currently no tenders open for participation.

Please note that the GET FiT Secretariat cannot provide contact information nor facilitate introductions with developers who were awarded the development of solar projects.

Entities that wish to be kept up to date with progress or gain more information on the program should get in touch with the GET FiT Zambia secretariat by emailing info@getfit-zambia.org.


Further Information

Useful documents related to the Solar tender can be found in the Library.


News

Ministry of Energy logo KFW logo German Cooperation logo