Namibia’s largest PV-plus-storage system installed

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EPC company Cronimet Mining Power Solutions Namibia says it has finished installation of Namibia’s largest solar-plus-storage facility. Cronimet says it financed, engineered and installed the system with partner OLC Solar Energy.

The installer says the solar array will have a system rating of 150 kW and the connected battery storage system – provided by Qinous – a 332 kWh capacity. German company Cronimet says the system will power Chobe Water Villas, a lodge complex, and will help reduce electricity consumption.

And the EPC says there is rising interest for such applications, after it installed similar systems in remote hotels.

The lodge’s owner and operator is O&L Leisure Hotels & Lodges, but the PV-storage system will be owned and operated by Cronimet as an independent power producer. OLC Energy Services, Cronimet’s joint venture with OLC Solar Energy, will provide operations and maintenance, according to the EPC.

Despite favorable solar irradiation, the Namibian solar market is yet to take off. For smaller distributed generation projects, Namibia has a net-metering scheme by which state-owned utility NamPower buys energy at rates pre-negotiated and approved with Namibia’s energy regulator, the Electricity Control Board.

The Namibian market offers 25-year PPA’s for larger projects, which are uncommon. Two PV plants have 25-year PPAs, having won bids under Namibia’s Interim Renewable Feed-in Tariff program. Electricity will be sold by them to NamPower at a price equivalent to $0.11/kWh. The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency financially guarantees the PPAs.

In 2016, 68% of Namibia’s electricity supply was imported, primarily from neighboring South Africa.