Botswana Power Corporation (BPC), the national power utility of Botswana, has opened a call seeking proposals for the development of seven solar PV power projects in the country. The future projects are expected to help the Southern African country to reduce its dependence on electricity imports from its neighbors like South Africa.
The request for proposals is restricted to 100% citizen-owned firms of the Republic of Botswana only. The tender documents can be collected by the project developers from the office of the Supply Chain Manager at Gaborone. Interested power producers and developers are required to submit their bids by March 31, 2023.
The selected bidder will be responsible for the financing, construction, operation, and maintenance of the seven solar PV projects. BPC has not yet provided any detailed information on the combined and individual capacity of the solar PV plants. Also, the locations of these power plants have not been revealed.
BPC issued a similar kind of tender for six solar PV projects in January 2022, without specifying any other information even back then. However, it is not clear whether the recent tender builds on that earlier procurement exercise, or just replaces it.
Botswana aims to deploy utility-scale solar projects through several tenders. Last year, the government authorities launched a tender to develop two concentrated solar power projects of 100 MW capacity each, which are expected to start commercial operation by 2026-27.
According to International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reports, Botswana has a total installed solar energy capacity of only 6 MW by the end of 2021. The country is relying on solar energy to reduce its dependence on fuels and electricity imports from South Africa, as the neighboring nation is plagued by regular power cuts due to several crises at its national utility Eskom.