- BERA has given its environmental approval for a 100 MW solar power project in Botswana
- It will be built by Shumba Energy near Francistown in 2 phases of 50 MW each
- 50 MW under phase I is currently in late stage development, and is expected to enter construction in next 6 months
Botswana based coal mining and energy development company Shumba Energy Limited has announced securing authorization for its 100 MW Tati Solar Project that it plans to construct near Francistown.
Shumba Energy will develop the 100 MW projects in 2 phases of 50 MW each, locating phase I on 300-hectare space. For 50 MW under phase I, the company is currently in the late stage of development.
In an announcement to its shareholders, Shumba Energy said the approval from Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) has cleared the way for the company to ‘build Botswana’s 1st large scale solar plant’ which it hopes will act as a blueprint for sustainable future in the country.
Speaking to Reuters, Shumba Energy said it expects the project to cost $80 million and aims to start construction on the project based on an independent power producer (IPP) model within the next 6 months. Its current plan is to have the project sell clean energy generated to the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP).
Botswana plans to increase the share of renewables in its total power mix by 2030 to 18%, according to Reuters. Currently, the country is a heavy user of coal power generation, which it also ends up importing from neighboring nations of South Africa and Mozambique.
In April 2021, Botswana and Namibia were reported to have entered a memorandum of intent (MoI) for a 5 GW solar complex at their borders, for which a feasibility study is to be completed (see Botswana & Namibia Sign MoI For 5 GW Solar Project).