UK firm plans $400m Zim solar plant

HARARE - United Kingdom-based Green Rhino Energy (GRE) plans to construct a 150 megawatts (MW) solar plant in Zimbabwe.

This comes as the southern African country is grappling with massive power shortages, generating approximately 1 100MW against national demand of at least 2 200MW.

GRE, in partnership with a local company De Opper Trading, formed a special vehicle De Green Rhino Energy Private Limited (De Green) to pursue the $400 million solar energy project.

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) yesterday said the project would be implemented in three modular units of 50MW.

Sources close to the developments say the company has already secured 375 hectares of land in Marondera for the project.

“We have already pegged the site and completed the Environmental Impact Assessment with the relevant authorities. We are now waiting for regulatory approval from Zera,” said the sources, who preferred anonymity.

Over the next 15 years, De Green is expected to roll out other solar power stations around the country, with total capacity to generate up to 2 500 MW at a cost of about $5,2 billion.

The land-locked southern Africa nation, among countries with the best conditions for solar photovoltaic worldwide, is currently attracting investors into the energy sector.

Last year, Zera was commissioned by government to develop a feed-in tariff (FIT) policy, aimed at boosting private sector participation in the development of renewable energy sources.

GRE focuses on a broad range of issues in clean energy — from technology to financing renewable energy projects, with a particular focus on solar.

It is currently involved in large-scale solar and waste-to-energy projects in a several African countries, among them South Africa,

Namibia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon.

Comments (2)

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qw - 7 October 2014

If the company to launch the project is known and named why should only "sources close to the project" be referred to? Why not seek out the directors of the company and ask them point blank what this project is all about. Daily News we really need serious journalism, please dont put greenhorns in the newsroom, it leaves us readers uninformed.

Observer - 8 October 2014

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