A PRIVATE solar products distribution company, Uhuru Energy (Private) Ltd, has applied to the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) seeking permission to set a solar power plant in Bulawayo to augment the city’s electricity supplies.
BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
The company proposes to construct and maintain a 75-megawatt power plant in Donnington West, Bulawayo.
“Notice is hereby given that the ZERA has received an application from Uhuru Energy (Private Limited) to construct, own, operate and maintain a 75MW solar photovoltaic power plant in Donnington West, Bulawayo for the generation and supply of electricity in Zimbabwe.
“The proposed plant will be located in Westgate suburb of Bulawayo. The project would include the construction of a 2 kilometre line from the proposed Uhuru Energy solar plant to the ZETDC’s Donnington 132-88/11kv substation,” the ZERA said in the notice.
“The licence application by Uhuru Energy (Private Limited) was done in terms of the provisions of sections 40 and 46 of the Electricity Act Chapter 13 of 2002.”
In September 2015, government launched a solar energy campaign to find a lasting solution to its perennial power shortages. Through the increased use of solar, the government hopes to cut residential power usage by 40%.
Electricity shortages beset the country following a drop in hydro-power production from Lake Kariba, after water levels dropped drastically. Much of the country’s power comes from the hydro-plant.
Although Zera has licensed over 15 independent power producers, very few have implemented projects that are actually feeding into the electricity national grid to improve the energy shortages.