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Home INDUSTRIES Energy 500MW of solar power set for installation in Zimbabwe

500MW of solar power set for installation in Zimbabwe

Hitachi wins contract for Sub-Saharan Africa’s photovoltaic project

Zimbabwe plans to install 500MW of solar power plants,this is in a move to ease power outages that are normallyexperienced in the country.

The news was confirmed by a release from the Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company (ZETDC) which invited bidders to tender for the installation of this project. The bidding documents will be available as from June 2020.

The release further stated that the solar power will help in the reduction of load-shedding during the day time by deploying properly sized solar plants at identified priority load centers.

Additionally, solar will reduce investment in connecting plants to the grid and associated lead times, mitigate against climate change risks on hydro and thermal power plants and cut power imports.

The many power blackouts that are currently being experienced in the country are as a result of low water levels at the Kariba hydropower plant and constant breakdowns at the Hwange thermal station.

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Zimbabwe is currently producing 987MW of electricity daily. Hwange thermal station is producing 381MW and approximately 600MW is generated at the Kariba complex, which has a capacity of 1,050MW.

The country’s authorities recently published rules and regulations allowing for net metering where solar power users can feed excess energy back into the grid.

Seven solar parks

In the end of last year, the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe issued a request for a proposal seeking partners for the construction of seven solar parks with a total generation capacity of 235 MW plus two mini-hydro power plants that would come in handy in power generation in the country.

The nation is in desperate need of power generation capacity and solar offers a cheap, scalable solution.