Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The 800 megawatts solar plants to be setup by ZESCO around the country gets commendation

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Gwembe Member of Parliament Tyson Simuzingili has commended the plans by ZESCO to embark on a process of setting up solar plants across the country, that will produce 800 megawatts of electricity.

Mr. Simuzingili noted that this announcement made by ZESCO is commendable, timely and exactly what the country needs to become not only energy-sufficient but a net exporter of power in the region.

“If actualized, we feel this investment will help the Country to truly diversify its energy sources away from hydro-dependence which has caused serious power disruptions as a result of poor rainfall patterns being recorded in some parts of the country,” he said

“Let me from the outset encourage Zesco to consider Gwembe as the first priority for this investment. I strongly believe that Gwembe is well positioned to play host to this important investment because of its strategic position and good climatic conditions to support this investment,” he added

The Member of Parliament mentioned that Gwembe district has already designed areas for solar plants with good temperatures which is a key requirement for solar energy development.

“We also view this as an opportunity that will open up the District that has lagged behind in all manner of development despite being one of the oldest Districts in the country,” Mr Simuzingili further mentioned

And Mr Simunzigili said that it is regrettable that to date, Gwembe has no proper road infrastructure, no filling stations, no commercial banking services, no single industry despite the huge potential it possesses in tourism, agriculture and mining.

“I am also happy to witness the growing interest from the private sector particularly some British Companies which have shown interest and willingness to invest over 2 billion dollars in setting up renewable energy projects, this amount of investment is what the country requires if it is to become energy sufficient.” he said

Mr Simunzigili has since urged the British Companies to choose Gwembe as their investment destination for solar plants as the district is convenient for this particular kind of investment.

Meanwhile, this week Zambia’s power utility company ZESCO Limited announced that it is working on setting up solar plants across the country to produce 800 megawatts of electricity.

ZESCO National Spokesperson Henry Kapata disclosed that this is in line with President Hakainde Hichilema’s directive for the power utility company to go for alternative sources of energy.

Mr Kapata stated that a 250 megawatts solar plant will be constructed by ZESCO alone and another 250 megawatts will be given to whichever company wants to partner with the firm while the other part will be done by any independent power producer.

He said that ZESCO Limited has realised that there are regions that are conducive for solar projects especially in drought prone areas of Southern, Luapula and Western Provinces.

And Mr Kapata has mentioned that the company is also looking at putting up 500 megawatts of wind energy in provinces that are suitable for the project.

He added that two projects will soon be implemented to help cushion the challenge of hydro power generation being experienced in the country.

Mr Kapata said that a 1200 megawatts project is being explored on the Luapula river in collaboration with the Democratic Republic of Congo while 2400 megawatts of hydro power stations with Zimbabwe will be constructed in Southern Province.

Seven (7) British Firms to invest two billion United States Dollars in Zambia’s energy sector. The seven (7) British firms, namely: Hive Green, Western Power, Buffalo Energy, Africa GreenCo, First Quantum Minerals Solar Energy, Vitalite Solar and SolarAid.

The companies will set up solar and wind energy projects in various parts of the country and then sell the produced power to ZESCO.

Then the 2,000 Megawatts produced will be ready to be added to the national grid in the next two (2) to five (5) years.

12 COMMENTS

    • How do you want load shedding to be fixed without finding lasting solutions?
      These are the solutions to end load shedding. As long as Zambia continues to rely on hydroelectric power generation, this problem will continue to escalate. Climate change is now being felt everywhere.

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    • We already have these solutions, how come they haven’t fixed our problems? We saw heavy government investments by successive governments in Zambia. How come the story on load shedding is still the same?

  1. Where is Zesco going to get even a million dollars for this? Are you costing pass the costs on to the consumers? You are blindly commending yet Zesco is begging foreign investors for straightforward projects like solar.

  2. ZESCO LTD is +US$3billion in debt how will they on-balancesheet finance a 250MW solar PV plant ( at aver.US$1.5-2million per MW)? 2000MW in 5 years means an average of 400MW per year coming onstream (we better start yesterday) and not with these current investment bottlenecks and system constraints (cost reflective tariffs, open access/ wheeling mechanism, GCCA, creditworthy offtaker, sovereign guarantees, etc).

  3. What? How do you give commendation to one who isn’t even born? Are you so much in a hurry to make good news?

  4. Just thinking about this is commendable by ZESCO……….

    That is the logical way to go………..

    Even if ZESCO us in debt ………..

    it is a company that is very bankable because of their monopoly on zambian power………

    any bank or lending institution will lend ZESCO money.

    In the same vain, GRZ should consider a local solar manufacturing industry.

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  5. People have to trade carefully here. HH has shown a penchant for privatization of national assets, he recently sold a mine to FQM. These private investors are doing it for money, how shall we pay back? What if they foregone payment and want shares in ZESCO? We talk of private public partnerships etc… to what end is there involvement?
    Careful Zambia.

  6. This country never ceases to shock me. There had been billions of money thrown into solar plants during the PF regime, what has happened to all those similar projects? Just search LT and you will find many articles dating back to 2015 or so about solar investments. Donor govt communities and NGOs have been announcing millions of dollars in solar plants but nothing has come out of it, why?

  7. Also to be clear solar plants without any storage batteries could only be used to offset normal power sources during the day, perhaps used as backup power energy source. To continue supplying at night, you need battery to store power, which cost a fortune.

  8. This is impressive and congratulations to President HH and Zesco and hope the implementation can start ASAP. Salute the new dawn government

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