Fairness Moyana in Hwange
INDEPENENT power producer, Solgas Energy has completed the first phase of its 10MW solar plant in Hwange after feeding 5MW into the national grid last week.
The solar power plant which is located at Cross Mabale underwent hot testing before successfully feeding 5MW of clean renewable energy into the national electricity grid network last Sunday. In a telephone interview, Solgas Energy chief executive officer Mr Kingston Kamba said it was all systems go following the completion of the first phase.
“The first phase is now complete and connected to the grid. The power plant is adding 5MW of electricity to the national grid. 5MW may seem small as compared to other projects in the region and the world. However, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. So, I believe in the context of our country and the journey this young Republic is on, it speaks volumes of our potential and what we can achieve when we work together,” said Mr Kamba.
He said plans were underway to commence the second phase which would coincide with the commissioning of the plant. About US$8,5 million is going to be required to fund the second phase.
“Our plan is to expand the plant by adding another 10MW. We already have the licence and paperwork in place. We are now looking for funding for the Phase 2 expansion.
Our plan as a company is to have a plant in every province and complement Government efforts to provide affordable power to the country and our industries. Energy is a key enabler to economic growth. Our economy needs power. I’m also excited about these key developments happening in Matabeleland North which is now the power heart beat of the country with the solar farm now becoming a part of the energy mix in that region,” he said.
Mr Kamba praised the Government initiatives and policies meant to empower indigenously owned businesses arguing that the investment was testament to that.
“There have been positive policy decisions taken by the Government of Zimbabwe that have made this industry more attractive for investment and contributed to the successful completion of our Cross Mabale 5MW Solar Plant.
This journey has affirmed the potential we have to do more, develop more elaborate policies and incentives for green energy projects. In this regard, Solgas Energy will continue to work with Government to help address some of these issues by providing and implementing solutions that will make this industry thrive, address energy poverty in our country and contribute to the growth of our economy,” he said.
The first phase whose construction started earlier this year at a cost of US$7,5 million was supported by Old Mutual.
The solar power plant speaks to the deployment of renewable energy solutions meant to reduce emissions. Solgas Energy was founded by three youthful Zimbabweans namely Messers Kamba, Petros Kazunga and Tafadzwa Muchinda who are the chief operating officer and chief finance officer respectively.