The Harava Solar Project in Seke district of Zimbabwe is set to be completed in November, Zimbabwe’s state owned daily newspaper Herald reported this week. The 20 megawatts (MW) solar energy facility is a brainchild of Chief Seke (traditional leader of the Seke district), in partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Energy and Power Development.
Zimbabwe is targeting to add more than 2 000MW to the national grid from solar, wind and other sources by 2030, this is according to the country’s National Renewable Energy Policy (NREP). The country is also offering significant incentives in a bid to woo investors. The incentives include 5 year tax breaks for IPP projects, duty free import of equipment and designation of large projects as key national projects.
Speaking after touring the Harava solar installation project last week, Zimbabwe’s Minister for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring the Implementation of Government Programmes, Dr Joram Gumbo said the implementation of the Harava Solar Project by the Ministry of Energy and Power Development resonates with the National Development Strategy 1 which identifies the availability of reliable power supply as a basic requirement for all citizens.
“Under the National Development Strategy 1 period, the Government will therefore place priority on the development of reliable and reasonably priced power,” he said.
Harava Solar Park head of corporate affairs Mr Tatenda Savanhu said they have completed six megawatts which are waiting to be connected to the Dema Power Station.
“We are adding 20 megawatts to the national grid and currently we have completed six megawatts. We are ready to go into the grid, suffice to say we are just waiting for completion of the substation to be able to feed into the Dema Power Station,” he said.
A few solar energy projects are in the pipeline to be implemented in the Southern African nation. A solar plant with a capacity of 100MW is under construction in Victoria Falls . A United Kingdom renewable energy company, Naanovo Energy Inc, announced that it is ready to start constructing three solar plants in Bulawayo and another outside Harare at a combined cost of US$250 million.
Zimbabwe has an electrification rate of 40% and power demand of just over 2000MW. With the country’s high potential for solar energy production, the country can be completely powered by renewable energy by 2030 should she manage to attract renewable energy investment. Erratic electricity supplies, high taxes and poor transport infrastructure have been some of the challenges frustrating investors from setting up in the country.