Botswana’s power utility seeks partner to build 100 MW solar park

Botswana state-owned electric utility Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) is planning to build a 100 MW solar power plant at an unspecified location in Botswana in conjunction with the local Ministry of Minerals, Green Technology and Energy Security (MMGE).

The company is now seeking a potential partner for the project through an Expression of Interest it issued on May 22. The project is expected to be completed two years from appointment of the preferred Independent Power Producer (IPP) joint venture partner.

The new formed joint venture will sell the power produced by the plant to BPC through a long-term PPA. Bids must be submitted by June 14. If built, the plant would be country’s first large-scale PV plant. The government of Botswana issued a similar EoI for a CSP solar project in 2015, but this project was never implemented.

The government announced it was finalizing a renewable energy strategy aimed at attracting domestic and foreign investments in alternative energy sources in collaboration with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in late February.

According to a document of the U.S. Government’s export portal, Botswana is suffering of frequent electricity shortages due to technical problems in its 600 MW coal-fired power plant known as “Morupule B”. The document also reports that Botswana has tremendous potential for solar energy utilization, with an annual direct normal irradiation equivalent of 3,000 kWh/m²/a in most parts of the country.