Reading Time: <1 minutes
The 25 MW Nyabira solar power plant in Zimbabwe is set to undergo an expansion that will turn out a 10-fold increase in output. The solar plant developed and operated by Centragrid Energy Systems Africa has been generating power since August 2019.
The solar farm located in Mashonaland West is 40 km from the capital city of Harare. The project is a part of the impact investment strategy of the National Social Security Authority (NSSA) geared at enabling economic growth, focusing on renewable energy, agricultural value chain, infrastructure development, etc.
NSSA and Old Mutual plc are funding the expansion to the tune of USD 30 million. NSSA will provide USD 8 million while Old Mutual will cover the balance in the form of equity and debt to produce an extra 225 MW of power from the solar project. The Nyabira solar farm can light up about 700 high-density houses. The 10-fold increase in output means electricity can easily be supplied to around 7000 high-density houses.
The solar project between NSSA and Centragrid is in line with their strategy of augmenting the Government’s plan to provide the Zimbabweans with more access to electricity. The smart partnership between NSSA and Centragrid that put up the solar farm is providing clean energy to local communities and the nation at large.
The Centragrid solar farm expansion ceremony was initially supposed to be addressed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, but he was represented by Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri, who presided over the function.
Defence Minister Muchinguri mentioned that the lack of funding for key projects continued to elude the government. Prior to the program, President Mnangagwa also expressed his unhappiness about the fact that investors were shunning his administration which led to a lack of funding for various infrastructural projects. “Most lenders shy away from providing funding for our projects because of perceived risks emanating from sanctions imposed on us,” said Mnangagwa.
The Zimbabwean government has set the target is to generate 2000 MW of power from renewable sources by 2030, which would not be reached without adequate funding. The government has previously announced a number of mega-deals that are yet to take off.
The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Soda Zhemu said Zimbabwe continued to face power challenges owing to outdated infrastructure and droughts which affected hydroelectric plants. Zhemu also mentioned that the coming of private investors into the energy sector would alleviate the country’s electricity problems.