Pride Mahlangu, Business Reporter
INDEPENDENT power producer, Power Ventures (Private) Limited, has applied for a licence to establish a 107 megawatts solar energy plant in Hwange District, Matabeleland North province.
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) confirmed the application in a public notice yesterday. It said the proposed solar plant, if approved, would be established at Chidome Ward in Hwange.
“The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority has received an application from Power Venture (Private) Limited to construct, own, operate and maintain a 107.771MW Solar Power Plant at Chidome Ward, Hwange Rural District Council in Matabeleland North Province,” said the authority.
“The applicant intends selling the power generated to the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC).
The project will also include the construction of approximately 75km of 88(132)Kv Double Lynx line from the proposed solar plant to the existing Hwange 33Kv substation”.
The energy watch dog said the licence application by Power Venture (Private) Limited was done in terms of Section 42 and 46 of the Electricity Act (Chapter 13:19).
Zera has since invited stakeholders with any concern about the application for the generation licence to lodge written representations with them before 26 July.
The proposal comes at a time Zimbabwe is facing acute energy supply gaps with low generation capacity at the country’s main power stations in Hwange and Kariba.
The situation has been compounded by drought conditions in the last rainfall season, which has seen water levels at Kariba Power Station drop significantly in the last few months.
This has forced the power utility, Zesa, to implement a tight load shedding schedule that has seen some places going for up to 15 hours without power.
In view of this situation, renewable energy is seen as the short term and long term solution with solar being the low hanging fruit for Zimbabwe.
According to Zera, a number of solar projects are being processed while other renewable small scale power projects are at different stages of implementation.