Solar plants - Reuters
CAIRO – 10 April 2018: Aswan Governor Magdy Hegazy and the Chinese consul to Cairo inaugurated four new solar power plants in Benaban project in Aswan Governorate, with a total capacity of 186 megawatts and an investment cost of $180 million (LE 3.17 billion).
The consortium which will construct the plants includes four companies of different nationalities; Egyptian, Chinese, Spanish and Saudi, the governor said.
Hegazy added that this project provides thousands of job opportunities for benban population and other Aswan towns.
In mid-March, Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker inaugurated the first phase of Egypt’s Benban solar park.
The first phase included the Infinity Solar 50-megawatt power plant which began trial operation in December 2017.
The Benban solar park is set to generate the equivalent of 90 percent of the energy produced by Aswan’s High Dam. Already home to the most important electricity production plant in Egypt, Aswan is set to bear and implement Egypt’s dream of having 20 percent clean energy by 2022.
Benban solar park, named after a Nile River village close to the power plant, is set to be the largest solar plant in the world. The power plant will cover Egypt’s electricity needs and edge it forward on its path to becoming the region’s energy hub.
Benban, built in the eastern region of the Sahara Desert, is set to produce between 1.6 and 2.0 gigawatts of solar power by mid-2019. Engineer Ahmad Fathy, head of Upper Egypt's Projects Sector in the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company, told Egypt Today that after the effective launch of Infinity, work will start on Vas Station.
Currently, 29 projects have been financed at a total of $1.8 billion, producing almost 1.5 GW of solar power, on the 14.3-square-mile plot of land.
Built on an area that receives some of the best sunlight on the planet, Benban is arguably the second best spot for solar power plants, after the Chilean desert highlands.
By building a huge power plant, Egypt is set to reduce the costs of costly power lines, power substations and expensive hardware, which, in turn, is set to lower the cost of electricity.