Matobo District, in Matabeleland South Province, is on the verge of hosting a 130 Megawatt Matobo solar energy plant, marking another milestone in Zimbabwe’s growing attraction to energy sector investments.
As reported by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA), an international firm called SunOne (Pvt) Limited has formally applied for the construction of this significant solar plant in Matobo.
The successful realization of this initiative is expected to enhance local energy generation, propelling Zimbabwe’s shift towards environmentally friendly energy solutions in line with global efforts to combat climate change.
ZERA, in accordance with Section 4(3) of the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations of 2008 (published in Statutory Instrument 103 of 2008), has officially acknowledged the receipt of an application from SunOne (Private) Limited. The application seeks approval to construct, possess, operate, and maintain a 130MW Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant in Matobo, Matabeleland South Province. SunOne (Private) Limited’s intention is to supply the electricity generated by this power plant to the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) through a power purchase agreement.
This project will be integrated into the grid by building a Matobo 220/33kV substation, along with the associated line bays. Additionally, a new 220/33kV SunOne Matobo Solar Power Plant substation, equipped with a 150MVA transformer, will be established as part of the infrastructure.
ZERA has affirmed that SunOne (Private) Limited’s license application adheres to the regulations outlined in Sections 42 and 46 of the Electricity Act (Chapter 13: 19) of 2002.
Expansion of solar energy power in Zimbabwe
The government’s proactive stance Is evident, with a clear goal of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) contributing 2,000 megawatts to the national grid by 2030, aligning with the broader national vision for sustainable energy solutions.
Communications officer, highlighted that this solar venture represents the third of its kind in Zimbabwe. It follows SunOne’s 70MW solar plant in Mazowe, Mashonaland Central, and the 100MW Manhize plant in Masvingo province.
Mrs. Nyoni stated, “Our registry currently lists 125 Independent Power Producers (IPPs), with 44 of them operational. Fifteen of these contribute a combined capacity of 47.76 MW to the grid, while the remaining 29 are dedicated to self-consumption and captive power, boasting an aggregated installed capacity of 168.5008 MW.”
In April this year, Siyavuma Incorporated (Private) Limited, a private company, unveiled a $60 million project to establish a 50-megawatt solar photovoltaic plant at Cyrene Farm in Matabeleland South, with the potential to create 300 jobs.
A stable and consistent energy supply is a critical factor in any economy, as electricity forms the backbone of various business and industrial operations.
Zimbabwe’s electricity supply industry (ESI) is predominantly under government ownership, with institutions like the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) overseeing four power stations (Hwange, Munyati, Bulawayo, and Kariba). The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) handles system/network operations, manages transmission and distribution networks, and participates in regional trade through the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP).
ZERA’s role encompasses the regulation of individuals and private companies engaged in electricity activities, particularly those involved in generation, transmission, distribution, or commercial retail exceeding 100 kilowatts (kW).