ZESA plans $97m Gwanda solar plant

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THE country’s power utility plans to build a ‘solar farm’ next year in Gwanda with capacity to produce 100 megawatts at a cost of $97 million to shore up power supplies, a company spokesperson said on Wednesday.
“We have already done the feasibility studies and the whole project should cost us around $97 million. Currently we are adjudicating tenders,” said Fullard Gwasira, the spokesman for ZESA Holdings.
“We expect the adjudicating process to be complete by end of year.”
The ‘solar farm’ would be constructed by  its subsidiary, Zimbabwe Power Company, Gwasira said.
The project is part of Zesa’s efforts to address the chronic power cuts that have crippled Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector.
Zimbabwe has a peak demand of 2,200 megawatts of electricity, but only has a supply of 1,167MW, including imports from Mozambique.
The electricity crunch has hit hard, particularly the manufacturing sector where most companies are operating at a third of their capacity.
Gwasira said the solar plant will be installed in two parts, with first power output expected within the first year and full capacity two years from the awarding of tender.Advertisement