Zambia will launch tenders for the development of up to 500MW of renewable power under a second agreement signed with the World Bank Group’s Scaling Solar program to help ease the country’s energy crisis.

The country earlier launched tender for two solar PV plants, each with up to 50MW capacity, in May 2016 and under first mandate with Scaling Solar program.

A package of financing and guarantees has already been approved by World Bank for one of the two winners.

The Scaling Solar program aims to help developing countries procure low cost, privately financed, solar power by providing technical assistance, templated documents, pre-approved financing, insurance products, and guarantees.

Under the second made with Scaling Solar, Zambia initially plans to launch tender for up to 200MW of utility-scale clean energy projects. A request for qualification for the second round is scheduled in late March 2017.

The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Zambia, will lead the new Scaling Solar mandate in coordination with the Ministry of Energy.

IDC Zambia acting CEO Mateyo Kaluba said: “The package of bankable documents, transaction structuring advice, and research that Scaling Solar provided saved us considerable time, attracted more competitors, and ensured a successful process.”

The country will launch tenders for up to four solar projects with capacity ranging between 50MW and 100MW each.

IFC Eastern and Southern Africa director Oumar Seydi said: “In Zambia, Scaling Solar has helped create a market that will make it easier for the public and private sectors to work together to meet the country’s energy needs and expand opportunities for families and businesses.”