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Saturday, November 20, 2021

CEC to increase power capacity for its Riverside solar plant

Economy CEC to increase power capacity for its Riverside solar plant

Copperbelt Energy (CEC) has signed an agreement with Sinohydro Corporation Zambia Limited to increase the capacity at its Riverside Solar plant.

Speaking during the signing in ceremony held in Kitwe yesterday, CEC Chief Executive Officer Owen Silavwe said the upgrade will increase the plant’s power generating capacity from 1Mega Watt to 34Mega Watts with an annual energy output of 56.5Gwatts.

Mr. Silavwe said the project which is valued at US$19.2 million will significantly see an increase in the generating capacity of the solar power plant.

“The Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract that we are signing yesterday with Sinohydro Corporation Zambia Limited relates to the expansion of CEC’s flagship Riverside 1 Mega Watt solar PV plant, the upgrade will increase the plant’s generating capacity from 1Mega Watt to 34Mega Watts with an annual energy output of 56.5Gwh,” Mr Silavwe said.

He said the project will be complete in the fourth quarter of 2022 and will primarily involve the installation of over 61,320 solar panels and the construction of two 11kV transmission lines.

Mr. Silavwe said the project was in pursuit of CEC’s goal to contribute to the global energy transition agenda while supporting the national agenda and aspirations for a diversified energy mix based on renewable energy sources .

He said CEC will through this project achieve optimal land use as the scheme will sit on the company’s existing land next to the 1MW plant in the wayleave reserve area which is land reserved specifically for purposes of expanding power infrastructure to meet the growing demand.

The CEC head said the expanded project will see the company contribute to the national generation portfolio between 150 to 30 0Mega Watts of renewable energy.

Meanwhile, Sinohydro Chief Executive Officer representative, Si Yang said the project is important in optimizing power generation.

“We have collaborated in Solar Energy which is important for optimisation of Power generation, structure, stability of national power grid as well as the impact of climate change, we will try our best to support and work with the local communities during the period of the project,” Mr Yang said.

In 2018, the energy company commissioned its one megawatt project at the Copperbelt University (CBU) as a way of diversifying to other sources of energy.


  1. ZESCO needs to be unbundled let them just be a wholesaler of electricity and distributor then privatise the retail side …cut off Provinces like Western Province and Eastern Province from national grid let them be supplied by Solar Power Plants excess power can then be exported.

  2. This is a positive move by CEC. However, the Act that declares Zesco as the sole buyer of power must be repealed to allow other players to generate and sell power. The 2 solar farms in the Lusaka South MFEZ are an example of how this Act has impeded development. The combined capacity of 200 mega watts can go a long way to mitigate the power deficit within the MFEZ but the producers are compelled to sell to Zesco who in turn supply to whoever they wish or absorb it in their inefficiency. My view is that Zesco should just remain with the generation function.

  3. @Tarino Orange, Eastern, Muchinga, Luapula and Eastern provinces are the regions that are located so far away from the Hydro-power facilities. These are the regions that should depend on solar because there’s always energy loss when power is transmitted over long distances. I do not know your motivation to pick on Western province when it is one of the three provinces that neighbor Southern province where power plants are located.
    It is also backward thinking to export electricity when you’re one of the three countries in the region which is less than 50% electrified.


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