Image credit: Higher life Foundation
In a move towards renewable energy, Telecoms giant, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has launched the country’s first industrial solar power plant at its Willowvale complex in Harare.
Engineered and installed by Distributed Power Africa, a subsidiary of Econet, the solar power plant has 1 435 panels, a generation capacity of 466 KW and is expected to contribute 780 MwH to the national grid per annum.
Speaking at the launch, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe CEO, Douglas Mboweni said: “The commissioning of our Willowvale solar power plant demonstrates our focus to ensure that all our offices nationwide transition to clean and reliable energy as rapidly as possible.”
The plant will operate under a 25 year Independent Power Producer (IPP) agreement issued by the national regulator, Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA).
“The commissioning of this plant marks a historic event on the renewable energy sector in the country as it signals the beginning of large scale solar adoption in the commercial and industrial space, “ said Dr Gloria Magumbo, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, during the launch of the plant.
Dr Magumbo added that the government is working on reducing barriers for IPPs as a means to encourage private sector participation in the country’s energy sector.
Over the last five years, ZERA has issued 30 IPPs, only eight of these are currently operational.