ZIMBABWE: Parvalue Energy authorised to build solar power plant in Bulawayo

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ZIMBABWE: Parvalue Energy authorised to build solar power plant in Bulawayo©Soonthorn Wongsaita/Shutterstock

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) has recently issued an authorisation to Parvalue Energy for the construction of a solar photovoltaic power plant in Bulawayo, southwest of the capital Harare. It will have a capacity of 50 MWp.

Another independent power producer (IPP) has just obtained a licence to build a solar photovoltaic plant in Zimbabwe. The project will be carried out by Parvalue Energy in Westgate, a suburb of the city of Bulawayo, located 369 km southwest of the city of Harare.

The photovoltaic solar power plant to be built there will have a 50 MWp capacity. The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) granting the concession has provided very little information on this project, including financial information.

The public entity, however, states that Parvalue Energy “may supply electricity to any holder of a transmission, distribution or supply permit who purchases electricity for resale with the approval of the Zera, to one or more consumers”. The IPP will operate its solar power plant over a period of 25 years. The aim of the project is to fill the electricity supply gap resulting from the drought that caused the Kariba dam level to fall.

The latter is coupled with a hydroelectric power plant capable of supplying 1,319 MW, which is the main source of electricity in this East African country. The drought, on the other hand, has overwhelmed its capacity. Hence the use of solar energy as an alternative for the supply of electricity to the city of Bulawayo. Parvalue Energy is not the first company to offer a solar power plant for this city of more than 700,000 inhabitants.

In 2017, Uhuru Energy proposed to Zera to build, own and operate a 75 MWp solar photovoltaic plant in Bulawayo. The project is expected to include the construction of a 2 km transmission line between the solar power plant and the Donnington 132-88/11 kV substation. The latter is owned by Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company (ZETDC), the state-owned company that distributes electricity in the country.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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