Zimbabwe will soon begin the construction of its largest independent power producer (IPP) solar PV project. SOVENTIX South Africa, a subsidiary of solar project developer SOVENTIX GmbH has been awarded the construction of the 22 MW grid-connected solar PV project in the country.
The 22 MW project will be powered by 66,528 solar modules and 192 string inverters and will have an approximate energy generation capacity of 40 GWh per year.
The Harava 22 MW utility-scale project will be developed on 40 hectares of land in Bwoni Village, Seke Rural district which is located South West of the city of Harare. The project focuses on improving the lives of local communities.
The local villagers of the Bwoni Community will own 10 percent of this project through a Community Development Share Ownership Trust. The project is due to start in October 2018. The project is being funded by Invest Solar Africa limited, a Botswana-based clean energy investor and independent power producer which enjoys strong financial backing from top tier financial institutions from across Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Botswana.
The energy will be fed into the national utility’s infrastructure by a 132 kV substation and overhead line. As part of the implementation, SOVENTIX SA will also construct a 30 MVA substation, which would be large enough to cater for the second phase of the project.
“Infrastructure development, particularly energy generation is a cornerstone to growing an economy. Pioneering such projects into Africa has its challenges, however through commitment and tenacity both SOVENTIX SA and the developer have overcome. I am very confident that the excellent cooperation will continue throughout the realization process and I am looking forward to the start of construction. It is a privilege to be part of this project,” said Jean-Paul de Villiers, Managing Director of SOVENTIX SA said in a media statement.
“The photovoltaic market in Zimbabwe is still in the initial stage. Hence, the country offers great weather conditions to use the potential of solar energy. With the high and predictable level of irradiation photovoltaic could be used to stabilize electricity supply and reduce energy costs. Solar energy in southern Africa has convincing prospects for the population, local economy and international investors. I am confident that we will continue our successful development in the African growth markets with our experience and our know-how,” explained Thorsten Preugschas, CEO of SOVENTIX.
Energy costs in Zimbabwe and other southern African countries such as South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zambia are high and continue to soar. Furthermore, companies in these countries also suffer from fault-prone power supply.
Mercom previously reported that on behalf of the Zambian Ministry of Energy, the Global Energy Transfer Feed-in Tariffs (GET FiT), Zambia Secretariat issued a request for proposal under round one of the GET FiT Zambia 100 MW solar tender.
In August 2018, to reduce the dependence on coal-based power in African countries, a consortium including InfraCo Africa and Smart Energies International, came together to develop a 60 MW solar project in Chad.
Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.