U.S. Trade and Development Agency Facilitates Urban Clean Energy Transition in the DRC

U.S. Trade and Development Agency Facilitates Urban Clean Energy Transition in the DRC

U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a grant to the provincial Government of Équateur in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for a feasibility study to advance the clean energy transition of its capital, Mbandaka. The study will facilitate the development of a solar farm and battery energy storage system, as well as an electric vehicle charging station, to reduce residential and commercial reliance on diesel generators. The Government of Équateur selected North Carolina-based American Engineering Group International to carry out the study.

“This project will create a new clean energy ecosystem for more than one million people living in Mbandaka. Our partnership with the Government of Équateur will expand access to a reliable source of power, while reducing emissions,” said Enoh T. Ebong, USTDA’s Director. “Using U.S. private sector solutions, this project holds great potential for replicability to other urban centers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”

The USTDA-funded study will develop technical and financial recommendations to implement a utility-scale solar and storage project in Mbandaka, which is currently unconnected to the national grid. The study will also assess the potential for a smaller-scale solar-powered charging station to facilitate the introduction of electric tuk-tuks as an alternative mode of transportation to the city’s 15,000 gas-powered motorcycles.

“We are grateful that AEG International and the USTDA recognize the strength of our capital, Mbandaka,” said Governor of Équateur, Boloko Bolumbu Bobo. “We look forward to working together to kick-start the economic opportunities that our great city and port will provide for the province and all of northern DRC.”

U.S. Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lucy Tamlyn, said: “Fighting climate change will require investment in renewable energy, and this proposed solar power plant is a perfect example. It is possible to provide economic opportunity and to protect the planet.”

USTDA’s feasibility study advances Power Africa, a U.S. government-led initiative to increase energy access and end energy poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, and the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment.