Renewable energy to counter power cuts

Renewable energy to counter power cuts

By Letwin Mazarura

The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) welcomed one of the newest feeder electricity power plants.

Solgas Zimbabwe Private Limited, a solar power generation company, applied to the energy regulator Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) in February 2021, to ramp up power generation by a further 10MW from the initial 5MW to 15MW as the company saw increased potential in the sector, which is characterised by high power demand against constrained generation capacity.

The company established a Solar Power Plant at Cross Mabale, near Hwange National Park.

The power plant increased its contribution to the national grid by another 5MW , making it 10MW of power being fed onto the national grid.

The plant is now adding a further 5MW for to see the project reach its full potential as planned.

Hwange, which is know for being the cradle of power generation in Zimbabwe, with the abundant coal reserves inherent in the Matabeleland North Town is living to it’s name.

The power generators at the country’s biggest power station at Hwange have however, not been able to operate at full capacity. This is due to constant breakdowns of its old generating equipment.

The 15 MW will not be enough to see the country out of recurring power cuts, but it is definitely one of the small resolute steps that the country needs to eventually become energy self-sufficient.

The first phase of the project was financed by Old Mutual Plc to the tune of US$7.5 million and will require an additional US$8.5 million for the second phase.

The Solgas project become the third Solar Power plant to come onto the grid after Centragrid in Nyabira which contribute 2MW and Riverside in Mutoko which adds 2.5MW of energy to the national grid.

Private investment in the renewable energy sector in Zimbabwe is a direct response to the National Renewable Energy Policy launched in 2020. It is proving to be attractive to private investors due to a number of incentives that are inherent therein.

Nyari Mashayamombe

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