Alliance Africa seeks nod to set up solar plant

INDEPENDENT power producer (IPP), Alliance Africa Energy (Pvt) Limited has submitted an application for licencing to set up a solar power project with a generating capacity of 75 megawatts (MW).

BY MISHMA CHAKANYUKA

This comes at a time Zimbabwe has been facing power shortages mainly due to low rainfall received during the 2018/19 rainy season which was not sufficient to fully support generation at the Kariba Hydro-Power Station.

Zimbabwe has since liberalised its energy sector to help promote the participation of private capital in energy generation to boost power supply.

In a notice, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) announced that it had received an application from Alliance Africa and that the applicant intended to sell the power to the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC).

“Notice is hereby issued in terms of section 4(3) of the Electricity (Licencing) Regulations, 2008 published in Statutory Instrument 103 of 2008 that Zera has received an application from Alliance Africa to construct, own, operate and maintain a 75MW solar power plant at Fairholme Farm in Chegutu,” Zera said.

“The applicant intends selling the power generated to ZETDC. The project will also include the construction of approximately 2km of a 132kv transmission line from the proposed 75MW solar plant to Selous 330/132kV substation.”

Zimbabwe’s power demand averages 1 400MW per day, but the country only generates around 1 200MW, relying on imports from South Africa, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo to supplement local supplies.

According to Zera chief executive officer Eddington Mazambani, a lot of IPPs have been failing to take off owing to the perceived country risk which makes it difficult for them to secure funding for their projects.

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