Denmark’s largest bank, the Danske Bank, has granted a further USD131.4-million to further fund the Assela wind project in Ethiopia.
The project received funding to the tune of USD201-million from a Danish institution in 2018 and the African Development Bank granted the project another USD1.8-million, which will be used for the studies of the environmental and social impact of the farm. Assela is approximately 150km from the capital Addis Ababa on the edge of the Rift Valley in the regional state of Oromia.
The Assela wind farm will have 29 turbines. Each turbine has the capacity to produce 3.45MW, hence contributing 100MW to the electrical grid of Ethiopia. Assela is the outcome of an agreement signed between the Ethiopian state entity Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. According to the agreement the Danish subsidiary of Siemens Gamesa will control 60% of the development of the project, while Siemens Gamesa-Spain (the parent company) will have the remaining 40% control. The two subsidiaries of the company are also expected to operate and maintain the Assela wind farm over a period of 5 years.
Ethiopia’s landscape, climate and geography makes it one of the most attractive countries for wind and solar energy investment. Although Independent Power Producers have been able to participate and invest in the Ethiopian energy sector since 2017, the main player in the energy space remains state-owned Ethiopian Electric Power. Ethiopian Electric Power owns and operates the Ethiopian national power grid. All high voltage power transmission lines above 66KV, and all electrical substations and power plants in the national grid (except some co-generation power plants belonging to state-owned Ethiopian Sugar Corporation) are owned and operated by Ethiopian Electric Power. However, power distribution and the operation of power transmission lines smaller than 66kV in the national power grid is operated by another state-owned company, Ethiopian Electric Utility.