The Ministry of Minerals and Energy in Botswana has opened a call for expression of interest from the independent power producers (IPPs) to build a 200 MW solar power plant. The Southern African country has set its target to boost power generation capacity and increase the share of renewable energy in the electricity mix.
According to a government document, the scope of the bid covers financing, construction, operation, and maintenance of the solar plant by the selected IPP. The power producer will also be required to decommission the plant at the end of its economic life. Interested IPPs are required to submit their bids by June 8.
The solar project comprises two units of the power plant of 100 MWcapacity each. These plants are expected to be commercially online by 2026/2027. The selected IPP will sign a power purchase agreement with Botswana Power Corporation (BPC), under which all the energy produced and capacity will be sold to the BPC.
Botswana is among those countries that receive the highest amounts of sunlight, with the direct normal (solar) irradiation (DNI) at over 3,000 kWh/m2 per annum, according to a global agency of solar data. But the African country currently does not have any large-scale solar power plant.
The national energy demand is predominantly met by state-owned thermal power plants and electricity imports from South Africa. Under a 20-year resource plan approved in 2020, Botswana has set its target of generating 600 MW of new solar and coal-fired power by 2026, as the country looks to break off electricity imports. Botswana aims to generate at least 18% of total national power production from renewable sources by 2030.