Renewable energy producer Solgas Energy is commissioning its Cross Mabale solar power plant in the northern Matabeleland province. The plant, which is connected to the Zimbabwean national grid, has a capacity of 5 MWp.
A solar photovoltaic power plant goes into commercial operation in Zimbabwe. The plant is located in Hwange, in the Northern Matabeleland province. The solar power plant is the result of a project carried out for several years by the renewable energy provider Solgas Energy. The Harare-based company has built its solar power plant on part of a 100-hectare plot of land.
Today Sunday 3rd October 2021,@SolgasEnergy Phase 1, at Cross Mabale in Matebeland North, started hot testing. The #solar power plant was connected & at testing is succesfully feeding 5MW of clean renewable energy to the #Zimbabwe electricity grid network.@official_MOEPD 🇿🇼🇿🇼🇿🇼 pic.twitter.com/Dy58jSwrJr
— Gamu (@Keyngstn) October 3, 2021
The solar plant, which has a capacity of 5 MWp, is only the first phase of a project that is expected to achieve an installed capacity of 50 MWp on the same site. “The 5 MWp capacity may seem small compared to other projects in the region and around the world. However, a journey of a thousand kilometres begins with a single step. So I think in the context of our country and the journey that this young Republic is undertaking, it speaks volumes about our potential and what we can achieve when we work together,” says Kingston GL Kamba, Solgas Energy’s managing director.
The first phase of the project required an investment of $7.5 million. The work was carried out by South African companies Soventix SA, Excess Africa and Proconics. The project has received support from several financial partners, including Old Mutual, ANF Capital, Ainos Ngadya, Mushoriwa-Pasi Corporate Attorneys and Stanbic Bank. The power currently produced is sold to Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission & Distribution Company (ZETDC) under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA).
Solgas plans to begin the second phase of the project, which will increase the capacity of the Cross Mabale solar plant to 15 MW. The third and final phase will be 45 MWp. Solgas Energy wants to become a key player in Zimbabwe’s energy transition. In addition to the Cross Mabale project, the clean energy provider is building power plants and residential solar systems in the cities of Chiredzi, Bulawayo, as well as in the capital Harare.
Jean Marie Takouleu