NAMIBIA’s largest solar power plant will soon be officially commissioned by Alten Energías Renovables. The 45 MW installation is part of the government’s plan to reduce dependence on hydropower and, more importantly, imported electricity from neighbouring South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The plant is located in the Mariental municipality, in Namibia’s southern Hardap Region, 278 km south of the capital, Windhoek. Mariental has a hot desert climate with average annual rainfall of just 194mm.
Largest solar plant
The solar array will have a system capacity of 150 kW and will power Chobe Water Villas, a lodge complex which also has a 332 kWh battery storage system provided by Qinous to help reduce electricity consumption.
The added megawatts from this project will reduce Namibia’s dependency on energy imports during daylight hours, and is considered a small step forward to becoming more self-sufficient. The new power production plant will use PV solar technology and occupy a land area of 100 Ha.
The PV-storage system will be owned and operated by Cronimet as an independent power producer. Cronimet’s joint venture with OLC Solar Energy, will provide operations and maintenance.
According to the Deputy President of Alten, Juan Laso, the plant will also help build on the solid commitment being made by Alten Energías to sub-Saharan Africa in meeting the region’s vast energy needs. It will be the first large-scale grid PV power-generation plant to be added to NamPower’s energy supply mix, following the smaller Renewable Energy Feed In Tariff (Refit) projects.