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BCC approves 9 solar farm projects

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City fathers, however, blamed the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency for delaying the approval of the projects, adding that none of the nine companies interested in the projects had been awarded the tender.

BY PATRICIA SIBANDA BULAWAYO town clerk Christopher Dube says nine solar farm projects have been approved to reduce the city’s electricity challenges.

Five of the nine solar projects are already on course.

“At the moment we have about five solar farm projects that we are developing together with our partners.

“But I can tell you, we encountered some challenges at the very beginning with those who were given the sites. They never performed to our expectations. Some of the challenges faced related to the COVID-19 lockdown period,” Dube said.

“Five of the nine companies already developing projects are Infuxion Power Distribution, which is on Farm 6, Plot 2 Victory Whitesrun Road in Umzingwane, Liogle Technologies, Rishi Investments and Doncaster Belmont, Bulawayo, NaNaaNovo Energy Zimbabwe Ltd, and Satewave Technologies and Network Building Services Engineers. Other proposals were by Williams Engineering, Dennis Garison, representing Solar PV Partners Ltd, and Fly Servicios de Construction from Madrid in Spain.”

Dube said the government wants the solar projects to be fast-tracked in order to improve electricity provision in the country.

“But for now we are under pressure from the government and its agents, Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority to make sure that those engagements we have should be completed very soon so that all those solar projects contribute to the national grid in terms of generating electricity,” he said.

Government has offered to assist the council to implement the solar projects.

The council has, however, been accused of awarding tenders to incompetent companies following delays in implementing the city’s solar farm projects.

City fathers, however, blamed the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency for delaying the approval of the projects, adding that none of the nine companies interested in the projects had been awarded the tender.

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association chairperson Ambrose Sibindi told Southern Eye that the solar farm projects were a good initiative, which if implemented would alleviate the city’s power shortages.

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