The African Development Bank (AfDB)-managed Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has granted a $ 965,000 grant to Zimbabwean investment company Oxygen Energy Private Limited for the preparation of a business case for a 20 MW off-grid rooftop solar project in Zimbabwe.
The project will consist of several installations located on buildings owned by Old Mutual Property Group Zimbabwe, a local financial services provider which also runs one of the largest property businesses in Zimbabwe.
The PV systems installed at Old Mutual buildings are expected to compensate for baseload lapses of the national grid and at providing with power local small and medium-sized enterprises, that are tenants at Old Mutual properties. SEFA said the project will lead to diplacement of more than 12 million liters of diesel per year, and that it will be developed in the frame of the country’s Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset 2013).
Zimbabwe is currently seeking to increase its power generation capacity with solar energy. According to local media, Uhuru Energy (Private) Ltd. Recently submitted a proposal to build a 75 MW PV plant in Bulawayo, the country’s second largest city, to the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera).
Furthermore, ESI Africa has recently reported that Chinese company ZTE Corporation has completed the feasibility study for 100 MW Zimbabwe Power Company’s Insukamini Solar Project. The plant will form one-third of a 300 MW solar development in the country, comprising Zimbabwe‘s first three large solar parks. The three contractors aligned to the project, which has a total PV module contract value of $544 million, are ZTE, Intratrek Zimbabwe, and China MCC17 Group.
Zimbabwe’s grid has suffered from power outages daily for the past decade, with the countrys largest power utility Zesa Holdings struggling to raise to required capital to invest in a new power station. Daily demand for power ranges between 1.9 to 2.2 GW, yet the grid can generate 1.19 GW on any given day. The government has set a target of boosting the electrification rate to 85% by 2020, and a target of 10 GW of installed power generation capacity by 2040