The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is set to have its first photovoltaic power plant, with a capacity of 46 megawatts, in the Katanga region. The project is an initiative of the Congolese company Kipay Energy with the aim of reducing the energy deficit in this area, where only 1% of the population has access to electricity.
On Sunday, February 26, the Minister of Energy visited the site located in the town of Fungurume, 200 kilometers from Lubumbashi. 78 tables, each carrying 56 solar panels, have already been mounted on the site. The panels have a rotating system that works according to the direction of the sun. The electricity produced will be exploited by the network of the national electricity company in order to supply the population.
General manager of Kipay Energy, Éric Monga, revealed that the capacity of the plant is 2.4 peak in solar plus 1.8 in storage. He said that electricity generated from the plant will mainly affect the population of Fungurume.
Congolese Minister of Energy, Olivier Mwenze, believes that the project should be replicated in order to improve access to electricity in the country. He pointed out that building a hydroelectric plant takes four to five years, and so, photovoltaic plants should be implemented quickly to serve at least urban centers and keep hydroelectric plants for the mining sector.
The work of the first phase of the project started in December 2022 and will end in April 2021. The plant is expected to reach its maximum capacity of 46 megawatts in 2024. This project is a step forward in improving access to electricity in the DRC.