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ZPC seeks solar power plant licences

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THE Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) has applied to the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) seeking a licence to construct solar power plants in Gwanda, Matobo and Munyati to ease the country’s energy woes.

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

Zera confirmed the development in a notice yesterday, saying the three proposed solar plants would each generate about 100 megawatts (MW), feeding an additional 300MW into the national grid.

“Construction of Gwanda solar photovoltaic power plant will also involve the construction of a 15-kilometre 132kV line from the solar plant to the existing Gwanda 132kV substation; a 132kV line bay at the new Gwanda solar plant site; a 132kV line bay at the existing Gwanda 132kV substation, a 20-varb fast response reactor at Gwanda 132kV substation and substation ancillary equipment,” the energy regulator said.

Zera gave a 14-day window period for individuals and corporates opposed to the projects to raise their objections.

In September last year, the government launched a solar energy campaign, as it battles to find lasting solutions to its perennial power shortages.

Through increased use of solar, the government hopes to cut residential power usage by 40%.

Although Zera has licensed more than 15 independent power producers, few have implemented their projects, forcing the country to continue with power imports to augment supplies from Kariba high-hydro-electric plant, Hwange and several smaller thermal plants dotted around the country.

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