Zimbabwe licenses US$250mn worth solar power projects

Solar Panels Lance Cheung FlickrThe five solar power projects are expected to generate about 160MW of power together. (Image source: Lance Cheung/Flickr)Five solar power projects, valued at a total of US$250mn, have been licensed by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA)

Taken together, the five projects are expected to produce 160MW of power. According to ZERA CEO, Gloria Magombo, the licensed projects are at different stages in the project development cycle.

“Some of the projects are at pre-feasibility stage, some have conducted feasibility studies including environmental impact assessment and are moving towards project financing and power purchase agreement stage,” said Magombo. She also said the value of the projects varies as promoters of the project source their materials from different countries but the estimated cost of the five projects is about US$250mn.

Zimbabwe’s Rural Electrification Agency has several solar mini-grid projects that are at rural health centres and rural schools across the country. “There are also several small-scale solar projects across the country that are powering different equipment and providing lighting at household, company and farm level,” Magombo added.

She also revealed that Zimbabwe is expected to benefit from three other 100MW solar projects that will be funded by the Zimbabwe Power Company and that they are currently at the tendering stage.

Zimbabwe has vast potential for solar power from photovoltaic cells and is attracting investors for its energy sector. ZERA was commissioned by Government to develop a feed-in tariff policy, aimed at boosting private sector participation in the development of renewable energy sources.

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