Econet unveils the largest industrial solar plant in Zimbabwe 

Source: Econet unveils the largest industrial solar plant in Zimbabwe – DailyNews Live

Staff Writer      10 April 2019

Econet Wireless has commissioned a 466KW solar power plant at its
Willowvale industrial complex in Harare, the largest commercial and
industrial carport and roof mount installation of its kind to be deployed
in the country.

The solar plant was engineered and designed by Distributed Power Africa
(DPA), Econet’s solar business in line with the company’s commitment
towards the adoption of clean and renewable energy in Zimbabwe.  The 466KW
grid tied solar system will operate under a 25-year Independent Power
Producer (IPP) Licence, one of the few issued by the energy and power
regulator in Zimbabwe for self consumption.

Under the IPP Licence, Econet Willowvale will generate and supply power
for self-consumption and at peak the plant will cater for nearly 45
percent of the business’s electricity needs.

Speaking at the commissioning of the plant, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Group
CEO Mr Douglas Mboweni said the installation demonstrated the company’s
commitment to the adoption of clean and reliable energy.

“Our organisation launched a Green campaign in 2018 which has seen the
company investing in alternative renewable energies, starting with six of
our own business premises,” he said.

“The commissioning of our Willowvale solar power plant demonstrates our
focus to ensure that all our offices nationwide transition to clean and
reliable energy as rapidly as possible” said Mr Mboweni.

He said the company’s OmniContact centre in Graniteside was the first
solar plant installed, followed by Econet’s local head office in Msasa,
and the company’s commercial offices in Livingstone Avenue in Harare last

He said along with the Willowvale complex, Econet Bulawayo offices had
also gone Green, with all the installations being done by Distributed
Power Africa. He added that work was at an advanced stage at Econet’s
major offices  countrywide, including Mutare, Gweru and Masvingo, as the
company worked towards its contributions to global de-carbonisation of the
energy sector.

Designed and installed by Distributed Power Africa (DPA), the Willowvale
solar plant has a total of 1435 panels installed at carports and rooftop.
It comes complete with a real-time power monitoring system and the plant
will generate an estimated 780MWH of energy per annum. It is one of a
dozen completed DPA solar projects in Zimbabwe, with more at the project
planning stages.

DPA, which currently has a 100MW pipeline for deployment across a number
of sectors within Zimbabwe, will this year complete sizeable projects for
customers in the manufacturing, hospitality and education sectors.

Speaking at the same event, DPA Zimbabwe CEO Mr Divyajeet Mahajan said the
adoption of clean solar energy was on the rise in Zimbabwe.

“With new technology, increased expertise and our viable financing
solutions, the adoption of solar energy has increased significantly, and
as Zimbabwe is gearing itself towards global competitiveness energy
remains a critical pillar in our economic transformation.  In the global
agenda, Zimbabwe seeks to achieve a 33% reduction in emissions by 2030 and
the Willowvale installation will result in a marked reduction of its
carbon footprint, by 285,000 kg per annum,” said Mr Mahajan.

To date DPA has successfully installed close to 20  solar systems
regionally, including a 216,200 KWh per annum solar plant for the largest
data centre facility in East Africa built in Nairobi, Kenya.