• Matshela Energy, a company floated by Eskom ex-CEO Matshela Koko, has secured a license by ZERA for a 100 MW solar power plant in Zimbabwe
  • The project will be accompanied by a 240 MWh of battery energy storage system
  • Koko said his ‘world class team’ will be on site in August 2019 and deliver first power to the grid within 12 months

Regulatory approvals have come for a proposed 100 MW solar power plant in Zimbabwe as the country’s Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has cleared a license request by Matshela Energy (Private) Limited to construct, own and operate the plant.

The Matshela Energy—Gwanda Timber Farm Solar Power Plant will be located in Gwanda, Matabeleland South, reported ZimLive news portal. Matshela Energy will raise private funding for the plant but exact details aren’t yet known.

What has caught everyone’s attention is that Matshela Energy is owned by the former CEO of South African power utility Eskom, Matshela Koko, who left the company after reports surfaced about his involvement in ‘irregular coal-supply deals’. ZimLive reports that Koko is currently the subject of a criminal investigation in South Africa.

On his Twitter handle, Koko released a statement saying his company has assembled a ‘world class team’ to build the project in Zimbabwe as the firm is ‘determined to end poverty in the region’ and it will not fail Zimbabwe.

He claims the team will be on site in August 2019 and first power will be delivered to the grid within 12 months. The 100 MW project will be accompanied by 240 MWh of advanced battery energy storage system. Matshela Energy says it has ringfenced $100,000 per annum annually for 20 years for the project.

Business Day of South Africa reported that ZERA’s license for Matshela Energy is valid till 2044.

ZERA was recently reported by the local media to be evaluating a proposal for another large-scale solar power plant with 107.77 MW in Hwange district (see 108 MW Solar Project Proposed In Zimbabwe).