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Zambia has just commissioned its largest solar plant project constructed at a cost of US $60m and expected to power 30,000 households

  • The solar plant, which was developed by a joint venture of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and Neoen, a French based company, is expected to generate about 54MW of electricity.
  • The project was flagged off by Zambian President Edgar Lungu.
  • Zambia is heavily dependent on hydro power and following a drought in 2016, an electricity shortage hit the country which is Africa’s No.2 copper producer, forcing it to ration power supply to the mines.

Zambia has just commissioned its largest solar plant project, which also happens to be the county’s first utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) farm, constructed at a cost of US $60m.

The project was flagged off by Zambian President Edgar Lungu.

Zambia is heavily dependent on hydro power and following a drought in 2016, an electricity shortage hit the country which is Africa’s No.2 copper producer, forcing it to ration power supply to the mines.

Zambian President Edgar Lungu. Zambian President Edgar Lungu.

The country has since embarked on a policy to diversify to renewable forms of energy to ensure security of electricity supply.

While acknowledging the IDC for taking up the challenge to create an energy mix to bring solar power into the national electricity grid, President Lungu noted that increased power generation using alternative sources of energy will attract investments to all parts of 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.

Zambia copper mines Zambia copper mines

The solar plant, which was developed by a joint venture of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and Neoen, a French based company, is expected to generate about 54MW of electricity.

Neoen, who holds majority of the plant shares will be selling electricity to Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) for the next 25 years at a rate of US $60.15 per mega watt per hour (MWh).

Zambia has just commissioned its largest solar plant expected to power 30,000 households Zambia has just commissioned its largest solar plant expected to power 30,000 households

International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank provided some of the technical and financial support for the project.

The solar plant is expected to uplift the welfare of people and enhance productivity of businesses as electricity from the plant will power nearly 30,000 households across the country.

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