Old Mutual Zimbabwe, a subsidiary of South African based financial services group Old Mutual Limited (OML) has commissioned a US$ 2.5 million solar plant at its Mutual Gardens headquarters in Harare. The facility was officially launched by Zimbabwe’s energy minister, Soda Zhemu, and Old Mutual Zimbabwe CEO, Samuel Matsekete last week.
With 641 KW electricity generation capacity, the solar energy plant will produce enough power to meet the entire energy needs of the company’s head office.
Addressing attendees at the official launch, Old Mutual Zimbabwe CEO, Samuel Matsekete, said the project is a significant milestone for the company as it enables them to accelerate their goal to power most of their properties with renewable energy.
“As a business with a vast property portfolio, the migration to a cleaner, renewable and cheaper source of power for our properties was too strong a conviction to ignore. The Mutual Gardens Solar Plant is the first of many that we envisage for our property portfolio,” Matsekete said.
Despite the project implementation commencing in March 2020, logistical hurdles and supply chain disruptions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in delays in the completion of the project.
The renewable energy facility will help Old Mutual mitigate against the power supply challenges currently engulfing Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is experiencing serious power shortages due to decline in the country’s generation capacity. Power cuts in the country can last up to 12 hours a day in the country.
Zimbabwe currently imports electricity from neighbouring South Africa and Mozambique to cover for the deficit in its electricity generation capacity.
The solar energy project cements Old Mutual Zimbabwe’s role as a key player in the country’s energy sector. The company has investments in several renewable energy projects supplying electricity to the national grid including the recently launched 5 MW Cross Mabale solar power plant which is Zimbabwe’s largest operational solar plant.