AT a time the country is experiencing excruciating power shortages, Old Mutual Zimbabwe is set to use solar energy on all its major complexes to mitigate the crisis.
BY FIDELITY MHLANGA
Yesterday the company whose primary share listing is on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange launched Mutual gardens solar project at its head office in Harare that is set to generate 650kw upon completion in August this year.
Old Mutual CE Sam Matsekete said in the short to medium term the company will effectively install solar plants in its entire major business centres.
“As Old Mutual, we have challenged ourselves to find alternative ways of delivering value to our stakeholders, through innovation as required in our current environment. The Mutual Gardens Solar Project comes at the most appropriate and opportune time to shed off huge costs associated with diesel-powered generators and also push the green economy agenda which should be a stepping stone to sustaining future generations.
Alleviating the burden on the national energy grid cannot be understated, and measures to address it is a must for any business. As a financial services player, we are also alive to the market’s expectations regarding driving and harnessing investments towards the alternative energy industry,” said Matsekete.
Old Mutual, have championed environmentally friendly buildings through the Eastgate Mall building designed by the internationally-acclaimed Pearce McCormish architects. One of the building’s most outstanding “Green” features is its natural air-cooling system. The system does away with electrical air conditioners and the unnecessary waste they create.
Other complex earmarked for solar installation are Northridge Park , Borrowdale office Park and Tendeseka, Ex Jaggers complex in Msasa.
The country is saddled with prolonged power shortages which last up to 18 hours daily crippling industry and household operations.
As such most companies are making efforts to invest in renewable energy sources predominantly solar to alleviate the crisis. Renewable energy sources are projected to account for more than half of global electricity production by 2035. Power Technology lists the top five renewable energy sources based on global installed power generation capacities as of 2018.
More than 486GW of installed capacity makes solar the third biggest renewable power source in the world, with photovoltaic (PV) technology being dominant. The use of concentrating solar power (CSP) technology is also on the rise, with global CSP installed capacity reaching 5.5GW by the end of 2018.
Hydropower is the most widely-used renewable power source, with the global hydroelectric installed capacity exceeding 1,295GW followed by wind, as global installed wind power capacity exceeded 563GW in 2018.
Old Mutual’s East gate Small and Medium Centre is operating full blown 100 Kw solar power.
The company has previously done Kupinga hydro plant in Chipinge an independent power producer that was commissioned in 2017 generating 1,6mw being fed to the national grid.
The company recorded a 41% increase in revenue to US$1,4 billion in the full year to December 2018 from US$991 million in 2017 due to growth in investment gains and banking interest income.
Old Mutual Zimbabwe Limited is a 75%-owned subsidiary of Old Mutual Zimbabwe Holdco Limited which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Old Mutual Limited registered in South Africa.