Namibia to host another large-scale PV plant

The German independent power producer SunEQ four Investment will build a 5 MW PV power plant near Otavi, Namibia.  The plant, which has a required investment of NAD 100 million ($7.8 million), will be constructed by the company’s local partner Hungileni CC.

The project is scheduled to come online by the end of this year. The plant, which is located near the cement factory of local cement producer Ohorongo Cement, will power the facility under a 15-year PPA.

Construction on the project will start once Namibia’s Electricity Control Board will have granted SunEQ the generation license. SunEQ also said it is considering equipping other industrial and public off takers in Namibia with solar power in partnership with Hungileni.

This is not the first large-scale PV project under development in the African country. Namibia-based industrial group Ohlthaver & List announced it will build a 6.4 MW PV power plant in Tsumeb, in the Oshikoto region of northern Namibia in mid-April. The contract for the project was issued in the frame of a tender recently held by local utility Central Northern Electricity Distribution Company (CENORED). Construction of the plant is expected to begin in mid-2017, with completion scheduled by the end of the year. O&L Energy will build the plant as an independent power producer (IPP).

Furthermore, Spanish-headquartered independent power producer (IPP) Alten Energías Renovables (Alten Renewable Energy) announced in late May it has won the rights to develop a 45.5 MW solar farm in Namibia that will become the largest PV plant in sub-Saharan Africa outside of South Africa once completed. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2018, and once completed the solar plant will meet 3% of Namibia’s power needs, NamPower said.

Namibia currently has two operational ground-mounted solar parks, the 5 MW Otjozondjupa Solar Park and the 4.5 MW Omburu Solar Photovoltaic Park. The first plant was built by Switzerland’s HopSol with First Solar modules in 2016, while the second project was completed in 2015 by Chinese solar company TSMC.