Energy company Distributed Power Africa (DPA) says it has secured 120MW of renewable power projects in Zimbabwe, with projects of over 30MW already deployed.
The projects that have already been built or are at advancted stages include installations at manufacturing sites, banks, office blocks, telecoms and mines. DPA’s single largest project so far is a 1.8MW plant under construction at a tea estate in the Easyern Highlands. The project is due for competition in August, the company says.
“Solar energy has the capacity to increase the country’s power supply and reduce dependency on energy imports from neighbouring countries, and as such DPA will be ramping up its deployment of commercial solar projects in support of improving energy delivery into the country,” DPA CEO Divyajeet Mahajan says.
In his mid-term review statement last week, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube pointed to projects completed by DPA – the Schweppes 1MW, the Surrey Meats 118kW and the Kefalos 600kW solar plants – as key to helping Zimbabwe improve energy supply. According to Ncube, the anticipated increase in the supply of alternative energy, such as solar, will help soften the impact of the 4.5% economic slowdown expected this year.
Mahajan said: “We appreciate government’s efforts in facilitating a legislative and regulatory framework that enables us to contribute in the power sector.”
In March, Zimbabwe launched the National Renewable Energy Policy and the Biofuels Policy of Zimbabwe, hoping to attract investment.
The policy grants all renewable energy projects National Project Status. They have tax holidays of 5% for the initial five years and 15% thereafter. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) requirements for projects of 5MW and less were also relaxed.
DPA says despite the COVID-19 lockdowns, which have severely slowed down economic activity, the company has constructed key projecrs this year. This includes work at sites such as Total, Delta, UNESCO, Stanbic, Schweppes Beitbridge, Luxaflor Rose Farm, and St Gobain’s new plant.