Matabeleland South Earmarked for Solar Farm To Feed Into Zimbabwe' Power Grid.

A farm in Figtree, Matabeleland South province has been earmarked to be part of an over 500KW solar farm project to feed into the national grid.

This was revealed by Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa during the Post Cabinet Media Briefing in Harare on Thursday.

Minister Mutsvangwa said Cabinet received the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) – Based Selection of Sites for Installation of Photovoltaic Solar Power Projects report.

The report was presented by Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, Professor Amon Murwira.

She said Government partnered with SKYPOWER Global Group of companies in the project.
Matabeleland South Earmarked for Solar Farm To Feed Into Zimbabwe' Power Grid.
Matabeleland South Earmarked for Solar Farm To Feed Into Zimbabwe' Power Grid.
“The nation is advised that the country has vast renewable energy resources such as solar that have largely remained unexploited. It is against this background that the Government of Zimbabwe in partnership with SKYPOWER Global Group of Companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop large-scale photovoltaic (PV) solar power projects to increase power availability in the country.”

Minister Mutsvangwa said the project is in line with the System Development plan for solar energy by 2030.

“This is in line with the System Development Plan which targets to generate approximately 865MW of grid solar energy by 2030 and secure Zimbabwe’s long-term energy supply needs,” she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa said there were three sites earmarked for the solar farm.

“The project intends to generate 500MW from solar farms to be installed at three sites, namely: Henderson (Archie Henderson Research Station Farm), Figtree (Vreigevight Farm) and Manhize (Onzerust Farm),” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

“These sites were finally selected from a total of 9 identified sites based on the following conditions. The ability of the grid or sub-station to accommodate plus or minus 100 megawatts; Proximity to a grid or sub-station; Land availability; Topographic considerations such as slope; No settlements within the establishment; No shading from mountains; and Local leadership and community buy-in.”

Minister Mutsvangwa said the proximity of the solar projects to the grid avoids the high cost of infrastructure construction and reduces transmission losses.

She said this is in order to ensure the least cost tariff to the consumer and improved performance of solar farms.

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