- Namibia has approved generation and export licenses to Emesco for 125 MW DC/116 MW AC solar power plant
- Emesco will register the plant on SAPP which it says will make it the 1st IPP on the grid under Namibia’s Modified Single Buyer framework
- Project is to be built for $105 million in Karasburg region and export power to the SAPP grid via South Africa with help from NamPower
Namibia’s Emerging Markets Energy Services Company (Emesco) has secured generation and export licenses by the country’s Electricity Control Board (ECB) under the Modified Single Buyer (MSB) Framework, for its 125 MW DC/116 MW AC solar PV plant, power from which will be fed into Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) grid.
Emesco says this makes it the 1st of its size and kind to be issued these licenses under MSB framework. It added that once the project is registered on SAPP, it will become the 1st independent solar power producer (IPP) on the grid under the MSB framework and will export electricity generated via South Africa, with help from Namibian utility NamPower.
To be built for $105 million, the 125 MW DC Schonau Solar Energy Plant is to be sited in Karasburg region. It will generate 7,898,064 MWh over 25 years of its life.
“The Schonau project is a major step towards Namibia becoming a net exporter of energy through harnessing its abundant solar resource. The project will add to a diversified energy mix, reduced costs, and decarbonization in the Southern African Power Pool,” said Emesco’s Commercial Director Pieter Rossouw. “Emesco is developing its pipeline of similar sized projects to provide renewable energy to support the green hydrogen initiative in Namibia and further expansion in the SAPP region.”
SAPP allows trade of electricity through 4 competitive electricity markets between 12 member nations, namely Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi & DRC. It is now encouraging private players to join the grid and trade electricity through its organized markets.
The MSB model allows bilateral interaction between transmission electricity consumers and IPPs, enabling the former to buy up to 30% of their electricity directly from a private generator.
ECB’s GM Economic Regulation Pinehas Mutota added, “The ECB is pleased that the Modified Single Buyer Model has gained momentum, it is our belief that the MSB will contribute to the Governments objectives for Namibia to become an energy exporter. The issuing of the Generation and Export licenses to Schonau and other players is an indication and commitment by the Namibian Government to assist in reducing the power deficit in the region.”
In April 2021, Emesco entered a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Canada based metals miner Trevali Mining Corporation to supply solar power to its Rosh Pinah Mine in Namibia (see Canadian Mining Company To Source Solar Power In Namibia).