Swiss-based Meeco Group’s Zimbabwean subsidiary – Oursun Energy (Pvt) Ltd – has handed in its application to construct a 5MW solar PV power plant in Mashonaland East, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has confirmed.
Oursun Energy and Nyangani Renewable Energy (NRE) are a few of the licensed independent power producer that have been proactively moving to construct their indicated projects.
“(T)he Zimbabwe Regulatory Authority has received an application from Oursun Energy Private Limited to construct, own, operate and maintain a 5MW solar PV plant for the purpose of generation and supply of electricity in Zimbabwe.
“The proposed plant will be located at Utopia Farm, 45,8km peg Mutare Road Melfort, Mashonaland East Province to be operated as Oursun Melfort Power Private Limited,” said the energy regulator.
The confirmation is in line with statements by the Meeco Group mid-December last year that it was in the process of obtaining a license to become an Independent Power Producer in Zimbabwe.
The Melfort plant is one of two similar projects that the company is expecting to develop this year, with the other one set for Harare.
The Group has also said that it is targeting to produce around 230MW over the next five years through 5MW plants that will be distributed across Zimbabwe.
With about two years in Zimbabwe via its local unit OurSun Energy, the company has so far signed partnerships with local strategic public and private firms such as Powerspeed Electricals (Ltd), William Bain Holdings Ltd, the Zimbabwe National Water Authority, and BDO Zimbabwe.
According to earlier communications by the Meeco Group, each of the 5MW plants will be developed at a cost of about $8,5 million covering approximately 15 hectares while generating a capacity of 8 500 MWh each year replacing up to 8 700 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
The Swiss based solar firm also said that it will be responsible for developing and designing the project, procurement of tier-one components as well as managing technical aspects and funding the project.
Some observers believe that effective use of solar energy can help drive up Zimbabwe’s total energy output.
Zimbabwe country is currently producing circa 1 200 megawatts (MW) against demand of 2 200MW due to long-term under-investment in the energy sector.
And this is one of the biggest challenges affecting the growth of the economy.