Namibia, Botswana to build a 5,000 MW solar megaproject

Namibia and Botswana are working together on a 5,000 MW solar megaproject, Global Future Councils of the World Economic Forum said.

Financial institutions such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) are members of the Global Future Councils.

The megaproject provides for building both photovoltaic and concentrated solar power plants. It will be implemented in several phases.

The first could be the subject of a call for tenders for a 300 to 500 MW plant to meet the domestic demand of both countries.

A second stage is planned to produce between 500 and 1,000 MW of electrical energy. A third and final phase will build solar parks that will supply 1,000 to 3,000 MW.

“Namibia is benefiting from the global expansion of the solar market, which is reducing costs and improving the efficiency of photovoltaic solar panels and related equipment,” said Kahenge Haulofu, CEO of Nampower, Namibia’s state-owned electricity company.

The Corporate Strategy and Business Plan 2019-2023 of NamPower plans to add 150 MW of new generation capacity to its portfolio through 20 MW of solar, 40 MW each of biomass and wind and 50 MW of guaranteed ‘firm’ electricity output.

The utility said its renewables plan is aligned with the National Integrated Resource Plan, which envisages the development of electricity generation and transmission by increasing local capacity to 755 MW, and aims to provide access to electricity for half the population by 2022.

Botswana Power also launched a tender for 12 solar projects last year. All the facilities are planned to help Botswana reduce its dependence on electricity imports from South Africa, with its neighbor plagued by energy shortages due to an operational and financial crisis at national utility Eskom.

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