Private firm eyes Kwekwe solar plant

HARARE – More private firms continue to engage the Zimbabwe Energy Authority (ZERA) with a view to establish solar-powered power plants, with GWatt Solar (Pvt) Ltd the latest saying it plans to set up 10 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic power plant in Kwekwe.

ZERA said in a statement that it has received an application from GWatt Solar to construct own, operate and maintain a 10 megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant for the purpose of generation and supply of electricity in Zimbabwe.

The project will include the construction of a 2 kilometre overhead 33kV transmission line to Eagle Vulture 132/33kV substation.

“The proposed plant will be located at Roslin Farm, Kwekwe,” said ZERA.

Earlier this month, another independent power producer (IPP), Lueven Investments applied for the establishment of a similarly 10MW solar photovoltaic power plant, which would be set up in Marondera.

And in December, SolGas proposed the setting up of a 5MW solar plant in Matabeleland North.

Notwithstanding these recent applications, the national energy regulator so far licensed four players with a combined generating capacity of 155MW from solar.

The approved IPP projects include: Marondera-based De Green, Geo-base of Gwanda, Yellow Africa in Ntabazinduna and Bulilima-Mangwe’s Plum Solar.

Zimbabwe is currently grappling with power shortages as the country is producing around half the required national demand of around 2 000MW, and observers are of the opinion that if successfully implemented, the numerous solar energy projects being carried out by IPPs could help ease the energy woes.

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