Solar Plant

Bangweulu Solar Plant

GOVERNMENT has awarded six foreign firms solar PV independent power projects that are aimed at diversifying the energy sector.

Speaking at a media briefing in Lusaka on Friday, last week, Ministry of Energy permanent secretary brigadier general Emeldah Chola said initial tenders were targeting an outcome of 100MW, but due to the highly favourable results, Government through the project investment committee decided to award an additional 20MW.

She said the six solar PV independent power projects will produce 120 megawatts of power that will help cushion load shedding in some parts of the country.

“The tender represents the first phase of implementing the Government Renewable Energy Feed-in-Tariff (REFiT) strategy launched in 2017. When Government developed the REFiT strategy, it sets as part of its key objectives the diversification of energy mix, promotion of clean and sustainable low cost energy,” she said.

“The projects are being undertaken by Zambia in collaboration with Germany who have so far invested K420 million through KfW Development Bank under the Global Energy Transfer Feed-in tariff (GET Fit). GET Fit programme is aimed at facilitating private sector investment in small and medium renewable energy independent power producer projects in Zambia.”

Chola said the solar PV power projects tender launched last year was the first round of the process and highly competitive resulting in shortlisting of ten companies and consortium.

“The companies were then invited to submit an up to two proposals of a maximum of 20MW each,” she said.

“The developers are joint ventures namely Building Energy, Pele Energy-Bulemu East and West with 20MW each, Globeleq and Aurola Power Solutions-Aurola Sola One and two 20MW each and InnoVent and CEC-Garneton North and South Solar 20MW each.”

Meanwhile, Germany Ambassador to Zambia Ackim Burkart said the programme will support government in the implementation of the REFit strategy adopted in 2017 by Cabinet.

Burkart said the programme will strengthen private sector participation in broadening the energy market.

“The Germany Government is excited about the GET FiT programme and supports it with an initial investment of €31 million through KfW Development Bank. We believe in renewable energy as a key building block for the world’s energy future,” he said.

Zambia has embarked on a robust energy diversification programme that is aimed at mitigating the energy deficit the country has been experiencing in the awake of poor rainfall pattern which has so far caused partial droughts.

President Edgar Lungu last month officially commissioned the Bangweulu Solar Project located in the Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone.