World’s largest PV park to start operations this year

Benban solar park in Egypt comprises of 6 million solar panels and will have a total output of 1.6GW

Egypt’s Investment Ministry on Sunday announced, its 1.6GW Benban solar complex is expected to become fully operational this year. The $2 billion project is the world’s largest photovoltaic park.

The Benban solar park is partly funded by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation with a contribution of $653 million while the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will finance 16 projects within the complex through a $500 million agreement from 2017.

David Malpas, World Bank’s newly pointed president while visiting the PV park said that the reforms in the energy sector made by Egypt have opened the door for strong investments by the private sector.

Commenting on the project, Egypt’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, said: “Benban Solar Park comes as the country is taking unprecedented steps to create a modern legislative framework to attract foreign investment.”

At present, 19 parts of the solar park totalling 1465 MW are grid connected while others are undergoing testing. Norway based Scatec Solar is one of the companies that have grid connected and started commercial operations at the Benban solar park.

With the solar park expected to be fully operational by mid-2019, it will be able to support Egypt’s renewable energy usage by providing 22 percent of the country’s domestic energy needs by 2020.

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