President Edgar Lungu on Saturday commissioned construction works for the $1.2 billion solar power plants in Lusaka.
The two 100 MW are expected to be ready before end of the year and are located in the Lusaka South Multi Facility Economic Zone.
This is the country’s first solar photo-voltaic project and is part of the World Bank’s Scaling Solar Program which makes Zambia the first African country to implement the project.
It is funded by the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank and the US Government through the Obama Power Africa Initiative and will be implemented by the Industrial Development Corporation.
The project aims to accelerate the use of alternative and renewable energy sources.
In his speech, President Lungu said the PF government is committed to diversifying the country’s energy sources.
“Thanks to IFC of the World Bank Group and the US Government through the Obama Power Africa Initiative for complementing our efforts in diversifying our energy mix. This event is illustrating efforts my government is making in addressing severe energy deficit which has arisen mainly on account of low water levels in our generation stations,” President Lungu said.
He assured that government remains committed to achieving long term developments in the energy sector.
“Energy is a lifeline of any modern development, our country’s future economic prospects are closely tied to the development of this sector,” he said.
President Lungu regretted that the power deficit has affected job creation levels and government revenue.
“I am pleased that we are here today as testimony of PF government’s efforts to move Zambia forward decisively by adopting alternative approaches aimed at increasing renewable generation and access.”
He added, “With 365 days of sunshine days a year Zambia has great potential to raise investments in solar energy which will not only enable Zambia become a net exporter but will also reduce the country’s dependence on hydro power.”
In July 2015, President Lungu directed IDC to drive the urgent development and installation of at least 600 mega watts of solar power, in order to redress the current power deficit in Zambia and resultant national crisis.