US$2.5m Old Mutual solar plant to supply national grid

November 4, 2021

RYAN CHIGOCHE

 

Financial services provider Old Mutual Zimbabwe says its US$2.5m solar power plant will supply excess power to ZESA through the net metering programme, Business Times can report.

 

The Net Metering programme is a scheme where customers generating solar energy on their premises can feed excess power back into the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company network through a grid-tied inverter.

Net metering allows residential and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to sell the electricity they aren’t using back into the grid.

Speaking at the commissioning of the solar plant, Old Mutual Zimbabwe group CEO Samuel Matsekete said the new solar plant is going to supply enough for the whole complex with the excess going to be fed to the national grid. He added that the company will continue contributing towards the renewable energy infrastructure.

“‘The amount of power that is going to be generated is adequate to cover the electricity needs of the entire office complex. We are also towards the tail ends of engagement with the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company over a net metering arrangement which will enable us to feed excess surplus power generated into the national grid,” Matsekete said.

‘’We are alive to the calls by the Ministry of Energy and Power Development to the financial industry for concerted efforts towards mobilisation of more resources towards the national energy infrastructure.”

Energy and Power Development minister Soda Zhemu who officially commissioned the plant hailed Old Mutuals for heeding the Ministry’s call for private financial companies with the capacity to contribute towards the development of renewable energy infrastructure.

“I am aware that Old Mutual is already a key player in the renewable energy space. Your participation together with the participation of your industry colleagues will surely propel national power generation capacity to the desired levels thereby cutting down on the power import bill,” Zhemu said.

 

South African company Easy Power was the main contractor.

The goundworks for the plant which generates 641 KW of power commenced in March 2020 but the project ended up taking longer than first anticipated due to logistical hurdles and supply chain disruptions attributable to the pandemic.

To date, Old Mutual has undertaken various solar projects which include the Hwange-Solgas, Harava Solar Park projects that are aimed at providing renewable energy and creating a positive and sustainable future for the Zimbabwean Community.

Old Mutual Life Assurance MD Rutendo Magorimbo said it was important that the company invests in cleaner renewable energy as they have been affected by the shortage of electricity in the country with other alternative sources used against the Paris Climate Accord.

“Over the past few years, we have not been spared by load shedding understandably due to deficiencies within the national power generation capacity. As such we have had to rely on alternative sources of power such as generators. This arrangement has its own vices which include high running costs.

 

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