Zambezi River Authority Plans to Build Floating Solar Plant at Kariba Dam

Zambezi River Authority Plans to Build Floating Solar Plant at Kariba Dam

The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), the corporation that operates and manages Kariba Dam on the Zambezi River, has announced that it will consider building a floating solar plant at the dam. Jointly owned by the Governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe, the ZRA is responsible for the environmental management of the Zambezi River.

The authorities in charge of the Kariba Dam plan to generate electricity from floating solar panels after plummeting water levels have increased power outages in both countries. The installations have the potential to reduce the evaporation of water bodies and boost energy yields due to the cooling effect of the water.

Munyaradzi C. Munodawafa, chief executive officer of the ZRA, said that adding solar photovoltaic capacity to Kariba Dam would supplement its total hydro-power capacity of more than 2100 MW. A similar proposal of building a floating solar farm is being considered for the Batoka Gorge hydro-power station, a proposed hydroelectric project which will be developed by the ZRA as well.

According to Munodawafa, climate change has resulted in lower water levels in the lower catchment of the river, although there is better average annual rainfall in the region. A prolonged drought has caused a power output cut of the dam, which has resulted in state power utilities being unable to meet energy demand.

The proposed photovoltaic plant at the world’s largest man-made dam will take advantage of the region’s abundant solar resources while providing clean and sustainable energy. The final decision on the use of floating solar panels at the dam by the ZRA is yet to be made. It is also subject to the cost of the solar project.

Also Read  Oikocredit Invests $5 Million in Yellow to Support Growth of Solar Home Systems in Africa

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.