Zesa steps up electrification drive

R&M Writer

Zesa has outlined plans to provide solar energy in areas around the country that are not connected to the national electricity grid.

Zesa executive chairman Dr. Sydney Gata revealed that the multi-million dollar solar project will be rolled out in January 2024 as part of their nationwide electrification drive. To this end, the power utility had already acquired a total of three million solar panels.

Said Gata: “Our vision for 2030 is the total electrification of Zimbabwe and as Zesa, we are promising you that by next year in January, we will be connecting electricity everywhere including where there is no Zesa network as we will put solar.”

Gata revealed that the first batch of solar equipment worth more than US$500 000 is expected to be delivered to Zimbabwe before the end of December this year.

“Most of the solar energy that we have comes from the private sector,” Gata said.

“There are over 100 companies that have been licensed to develop solar projects of various sizes and we feel that we should have a duty ourselves as the government to support such programmes,” he added.

The solar project will be rolled out in phases, revealed Gata.

“All in all, the project will run into millions of dollars,” he said.

Gata applauded President Emmerson Mnangagwa for engaging with the Chinese president in 2018 – a development that gave birth to the construction of the US$1, 5 billion Hwange Thermal Power Station Unit 7 and 8 project.

Gata revealed that the project was the fulfilment of objectives that were mooted out during the 1980s by the power utility.

“But this time we got a project directly for the President when he went to China immediately after taking over the Presidency.

“Sometimes we face electricity challenges, especially in mining and agriculture and get help from Mozambique, Malawi, South Africa and other countries,” Gata said.

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