- Botswana and Namibia have signed a MoI to cooperate on the 5 GW planned solar complex
- To be located on the border region of the 2 countries, the project is expected to generate power for both nations and some part of it may be diverted to SAPP
- It paves the way for feasibility studies to be carried out for the project, with support from financial partners
The African nations of Botswana and Namibia have entered a memorandum of intent (MoI) virtually for the previously proposed plans to develop 5 GW solar power complex on their border with each other. Local media reports suggest project is being backed by international lenders as African Development Bank (AfDB), International Finance Corporation (IFC), the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and the US government’s Power Africa.
The last time there was a news about the project was back in August 2020 when the Namibian Minister for Mines and Energy Tom Alweendo confirmed to Bloomberg that the 2 countries will signed an agreement to develop the 5 GW project, which was delayed due to the pandemic (see 5 GW Solar Energy For Botswana & Namibia).
The agreements signed will enable the launch of a pre-feasibility study, likely to cost BWP 20 million ($1.85 million) and to be shelled out by the financial partners which will ascertain overall cost of the massive project.
Basis feasibility studies, the financial partners may be roped in to help with the project be built by independent power producers (IPP) and power generated to be fed into the national grids of both the countries. Some of the power produced may also be sold to neighboring nations through the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP).
The 5 GW project has been in the making since August 2019 when the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Power Africa shared its plans to be developed in 3 phases of 300 MW to 500 MW, 500 MW to 1 GW, and 1 GW to 3 GW capacities respectively.