Distributed Power Africa to build Zimbabwe’s largest rooftop solar plant for Pepsi bottler Varun

Varun's Harare factory: the company expanding capacity and is installing DPA's solar system

Distributed Power Africa (DPA), the energy arm of Cassava Technologies, has signed an agreement with Varun Beverages to install a 2.5MWp rooftop solar plant at the Pepsi bottler’s Harare factory.

The two companies agreed to a 25-year power lease agreement for the system, which is projected to give Varun annual energy production of 4.1GW. It will be the largest roof-mounted solar system installed in Zimbabwe to date.

Vijay Bahl, Chief Executive Officer of Varun Beverages Zimbabwe, said going solar would help the company cut down on energy costs, ensure consistent supply and meet its ESG objectives on the environment.

“We are pleased to partner with DPA on this milestone project. Implementing this solar-powered solution will effectively reduce our energy costs, enable us to manage consistent power supply and further pass the benefit of affordable Pepsi Products to Zimbabwe consumers. We are expecting a saving of approximately 2,500 tons of carbon emissions annually,” he said.

Demand for alternative energy is rising in Zimbabwe, as industries seek to offset the impact of unreliable power from ZESA. DPA’s previous commercial and industrial installations include 1.8MW of solar power for Tanganda’s tea estates and a 1MW rooftop-mounted system at Schweppes.

Divyajeet Mahajan, CEO of DPA Zimbabwe, said: “We are committed to helping our Commercial and Industrial customers by providing fully integrated solutions that drive down their energy costs and meet their commitments to protect the environment. We believe this should inspire other energy-intensive sectors to join the growing movement towards sustainable energy and shift to more efficient and environmentally friendly power solutions like solar.”

With the system that DPA is installing at Varun, the beverages company can efficiently run its operations and feed excess power back to the national grid while saving over 25,000 trees annually, a statement said.

Varun produces 76 million bottles and cans per month from its factory and has announced plans for further expansion.


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