Electricity distribution companies paid EGP 10m to 129 individuals and small companies in return for electricity they produced from their solar panels until the end of last December, as part of the feed-in tariff programme.
According to the Ministry of Electricity, the producers received cheques every three months, and the last one was issued last month. Each electricity distribution company issued cheques worth EGP 900,000-1.3m over the past year.
Sources from the ministry said that electricity distribution companies nationwide have signed contracts to purchase solar energy from 129 plants with production capacities up to 16 MW.
According to the energy purchasing prices in the second phase of the feed-in tariff programme, electricity distribution companies should pay 102.8 piastres per kWh of solar energy produced in homes, while they pay 102 piastres per kWh of energy produced outside homes.
Nagy Aref, chairperson of the North Cairo Electricity Distribution Company, said that the company signed cheques worth EGP 285,500 for 26 participants who produced electricity with a capacity of 312 kW from solar panels in their homes.
He added that the producers who received cheques included Electric Power Systems Engineering Company, El-Obour for Metallurgical Industries, Cairo Language School, St. John Hospital, Egyptian Natural Gas Company (GASCO), as well as several individuals.
When the North Cairo Electricity Distribution Company receives a request for establishing a solar power plant, it studies all the papers and procedures, as well as the certificate of qualification for the establishment of the project. Then the company signs a contract with the project owners which obligates the company to purchase the produced energy and provide technical support.
The establishment of a solar power plant with a capacity of 5 kW costs about EGP 60,000, including a two-year guarantee for some components of the plant and 10-year guarantee for other components, in addition to free maintenance for the whole plant for two years.
Such solar power plants have a life cycle estimated at 25 years, with production capacities of 1,110 kW per month. After the instalment of the plant, the company signs a contract with project owners to purchase their production, in preparation for adding these capacities to the national electricity grid.