ZETDC Signs 500MW Solar Energy Deal with UAE-based Company

April 21, 2024
One of Skypowers solar projects in Congo | Report Focus News
One of Skypowers solar projects in Congo

The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) has recently finalized a significant power purchase agreement with Skypower, an energy company based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This landmark deal, known as the Green Giant project, is poised to deliver 500 megawatts (MW) of solar energy to Zimbabwe, providing electricity to approximately 2 million households across the nation.

The signing ceremony, attended by high-ranking government officials, including Minister of Energy and Power Development Edgar Moyo, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to the UAE Lovemore Mazemo, acting ZETDC managing director Abel Gurupira, and Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority chairman Edington Tapera Mazambani, marks a crucial step forward in Zimbabwe’s energy landscape.

During the ceremony, Minister Moyo emphasized the importance of the solar energy project in the government’s strategy to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions. He highlighted the direct integration of solar power into the national grid, emphasizing its role in enhancing energy security and advancing Zimbabwe’s transition towards a green economy.

“The solar power plants will directly feed into our national grid. This collaboration is a beacon of our dedication to enhancing energy security, achieving self-sufficiency, and transitioning towards a green economy,” stated Minister Moyo.

The genesis of this transformative partnership traces back to the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Zimbabwe and UAE, Skypower during COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh. Minister Moyo underscored the significance of this agreement in fostering a sustainable and prosperous future for Zimbabwe.

Acting ZETDC managing director, Abel Gurupira, highlighted the immediate impact of the solar energy projects in alleviating the country’s persistent power shortages. He emphasized the readiness of the market to absorb the additional power generated and stressed the importance of financial readiness and cost-reflective tariffs to ensure the project’s sustainable success.

“The market is, therefore, ready to take up this power. On financial readiness and cost-reflective tariff, ZETDC has established a cost-reflective tariff, ensuring that we have the capacity to pay for the power generated. This financial readiness is key to the sustainable success of the project,” Gurupira affirmed.

The Green Giant project encompasses the construction of three major solar power plants in strategic locations across Zimbabwe. These include a 100MW solar plant in Manhizhe, Midlands Province, a 70MW facility in Mazowe District, Mashonaland Central Province, and a 130MW plant in Matobo District, Matabeleland South Province.

With the signing of this ground breaking agreement, Zimbabwe takes a significant stride towards harnessing renewable energy sources to meet its growing electricity demands, promote sustainable development, and mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.