Mini-hydro and solar projects with capacity to generate 300 MW are set to be constructed in Zimbabwe. The Infrastructure and Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) announced the report and said that it is scouting for investors to finance the projects.
Th bank pointed out that they have identified six projects to generate the 300MW. The identified projects include; development and construction of a 1,7MW mini-hydro power plant at Osborne Dam, Odzani Mini Hydro Project in Mutare, a 50MW Rufaro Solar Farm Project in Marondera, Gutu Solar Farm Project set to generate 20MW 50MW Sable Solar Farm Project and generate 50MW from the Gwayi Solar Project.
Identified six project
The Osborne Dam is approximately 35km from Mutare and 80km from Rusape. Construction works involves system engineering, design review, material purchasing, equipment manufacture and supply, construction and installation. Feasibility studies were already carried out on the project.
The Odzani Mini Hydro project on the other hand is currently at planning stage. It involves rehabilitation of weirs, penstocks, canals, and construction of a powerhouse (including turbines) at a decommissioned power generation site. Power generated from the project will be fed into the national grid.
The 50MW Rufaro Solar Farm Project will be located in Marondera while Sable Solar Farm Project will be developed in Kwekwe, in the Midlands province. The scope of the projects include establishment of 132/33kV onsite sub-station, an approximately 5km power transmission line, switchyard and associated line bays.
Moreover, in Masvingo the infrastructure bank said it envisages building the Gutu Solar Farm Project set to generate 20MW. In Matabeleland South, the bank is looking for a partner to construct the Plumtree Solar Project meant to generate 10MW from solar energy intended for the national grid. The project is currently at initiation stage. The bank owns the land, which is 27ha in size.
Reduce intractable power crisis
Upon completion of the projects, Zimbabwe will reduce intractable power crisis facing the country characterized by rolling electricity blackouts, lasting for nearly 18 hours everyday, resulting to disrupted industrial operations.
The Odzani mini hydro project will additionally help optimize economic benefits from Osborne Dam by generating clean energy for irrigation purposes and supplying the national grid.