• ZETDC has issued a tender for 500 MW solar PV capacity to be set up across the country
  • Increase in solar power capacity in the country will help the country strengthen its renewable energy power generation portfolio
  • The government wants to firm up power generation as the country fights load shedding incidences in the face of hydro and thermal power plants failing to meet the demand

The Government of Zimbabwe has launched a tender to contract 500 MW of solar PV capacity through state-owned utility, Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC). The capacity will be distributed throughout the country.

Broad scope of work and its components include installation of solar PV capacity at various sites, grid connection, signing power connection and power purchase agreements (PPA), operation and maintenance, training and capacity building, and ensuring social upliftment projects for vulnerable groups, the tender notice states.

ZETDC says the primary objective of the project is to increase the uptake of renewable energy in line with government policy of reducing daytime load shedding by deploying properly sized solar plants at identified priority load centers, reduce the level of non-firm daytime power imports, and bring down investment in connecting the plants to the grid and associated lead times.

The government is also focusing on solar with an aim to strengthen the country’s power generation capacity and not leave it dependent on hydro and thermal power plants that are at risk due to climate change, as well as mitigate the current investment risks by providing sustainable investment incentives and risk mitigation measures.

Bidding documents will be available for interested companies starting from June 2020. Details of the tender can be viewed on ZETDC website.

A Reuters report on the same tender says the country has been producing 987 MW of electricity daily these days as the COVID-19 forced lockdown in the country has improved the power supply situation with industries shuttered. It claims load shedding in the country till before the lockdown lasted for up to 18 hours a day as droughts hampered hydro power supply and ageing thermal stations couldn’t keep up with the demand.