ZAMBIA has commissioned its largest solar plant project and also the county’s first utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) farm, constructed at a cost of $60 million.
The solar plant was developed by a joint venture of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and Neoen, a French based company. Commissioning the project, President Edgar Lungu praised the IDC for taking up the challenge to create an energy mix to bring solar power into the national electricity grid in response to the electricity deficit that affected the country in 2015.
Largest solar power plant
The President also commended the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank for the technical and financial support for the project, saying that increased power generation using alternative sources of energy will attract investments to all parts of the country.
Neoen, who holds the majority stake in the plant, will be selling electricity to Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) for the next 25 years at a rate of $60.15 per mega watt per hour (MWh).
The solar power plant is expected to generate about 54MW of electricity and uplift the welfare of people and enhance productivity of businesses as electricity from the plant will power nearly 30,000 households across the country.
Edgar Lungu said the record-low tariffs achieved for the project is a clear demonstration of efforts aimed at improving affordable electrification rates, one of the hindrances to the growth of the energy sector.