Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), has signed a $15 million concessionary loan agreement for the development of a hybrid solar and wind generation project in the Caribbean state of Antigua and Barbuda.
The agreement is one of the third funding cycle recipients of the ADFD/IRENA Project Facility and was signed during the Seventh Session of the IRENA Assembly between His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD and His Excellency Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda.
The initial 10 MW project, rising to 25MW in subsequent phases, will bring clean energy to 90,000 people with a focus on providing energy for the operation of drinking water desalination plants, health and other essential facilities.
“Addressing the funding and skills gap in fast emerging economies like Antigua and Barbuda are crucial in accelerating the uptake of renewable energy solutions that can support sustainable socio-economic development in the long-term” said the Director General of ADFD. “We are proud to be able to play our part in this islands’ development story and look forward to further collaboration opportunities. The project will play a major part in the country’s 20% target for renewable sources by 2018 and will support the country’s work towards meeting its Sustainable Development Goals.”
His Excellency Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, added that prior to 2016, Antigua and Barbuda have been totally dependent on fossil fuels for electricity generation and that using renewable energy will diversify the energy sources for the country while actively moving towards more reliable and affordable electricity. Thanks to the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility a transformative renewable energy project can be brought to life that will help improve access to water and electricity and reduce the cost of energy, while improving resilience to the effects of climate change.
The project is being funded as part of the AED1.285 billion (US$350 million) IRENA/ADFD Project Facility, made operational in 2013, to provide concessional financing for renewable energy projects in developing countries. Since 2013, through the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility, 189 million dollars has been allocated to 19 projects, selected projects thus far have included off-grid, mini-grid and on-grid projects using wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass sources. Selected projects over the first four cycles will bring about 100 MW of renewable energy capacity online, and improve the livelihoods of over a million people.
Abu Dhabi is fast becoming a global renewable energy hub and ADFD is playing a major part in sharing the industry and sector knowledge accumulated here by providing critical support to get schemes off the ground, in addition to its other international development focus areas including infrastructure sectors, transport, housing, healthcare, education and agriculture.