International Renewable Energy Conference & Expo 2024: 10 power projects get govt backing

The oversubscribed conference was organised by The Standard in conjunction with the Energy and Power Development ministry.

The government has guaranteed the bankability of 10 independent power producer (IPP) projects with a potential to generate a combined 271 megawatts (MW) in renewable energy.

This was revealed yesterday at the just-ended fifth edition of the International Renewable Energy Conference and Expo in Victoria Falls ,where the Finance, Economic Development, and Investment Promotion and Energy and Power Development ministries handed over the letters of guarantee to the 10 IPPs.

The oversubscribed conference was organised by The Standard in conjunction with the Energy and Power Development ministry.

Mutorashanga (Indo Africa) Solar, which will produce 10 megawatts (MW) of electricty, Guruve Solar Energy Project (5,5MW), DeGreen Rhino Solar (50MW), Equinox Solar (10MW), Murombedzi Solar (10,5MW), Great Zimbabwe Mini Hydro (5MW), Par Value Energy (50MW), Acacia Energy (50MW), Energywise Vungu Solar (30MW) and AF Power (50MW) were the recipients of the letters of guarantee.

“The selected companies will benefit from a capped tariff of US$0,09 kWh for solar energy, regardless of the capacity, due to the drop in the solar technology prices in late 2023,” the two ministries said in a joint statement.

“Further, government is willing to support all the local IPPs through a back-to-back liquidity support structure (on-shore account structure), whereby the IPPs can have an arrangement with relevant exporting private off takers to offtake power, which will enable seamless servicing of their obligations.”

The ministries said the coming on board of the IPPs would go a long way in alleviating power shortages in the country as well as promoting import substitution.

“This year we celebrate the completion and commissioning of several independent power producer projects which we will invite you, Your Excellency, to come and officially commission soon,” Energy and Power Development minister Edgar Moyo told the conference.

“These include a 5MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant near the Victoria Falls Airport, an additional 23MW solar PV plant in Mashonaland West province, another 35MW solar PV plant in Mashonaland West again and a 5MW mini-hydro power station in Masvingo Province.”

He said there was another 1MW mini-hydro power plant which was also technically commissioned at the end of 2023.

“This is just a short list of the numerous projects happening around the country,” Moyo added.

“This year’s Conference is running under the theme Building a Sustainable Energy Future and is a proactive theme unlike the previous year’s theme which seemed to just focus on possibilities rather than the action on the possibilities.

“Our theme this year has an operative word which is ‘Build!’ Ladies and gentlemen, it is our aspiration to continue to be driven by this operative word in our industry as we continue to build tangible energy assets.

“These assets can bring up our internal generation capacity to at least match the daily power demand of Zimbabwe.”

He said with this trajectory, power cuts could soon be relegated to the “annals of history”.

In December 2022, the ministries of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotions and Energy and Power Development agreed to expedite investments in the renewable energy sectors.

The government has embarked on several strategies to arrest the growing power deficit in the country, which ranges between 500MW to 1 000MW.

According to the Southern African Power Pool, Zimbabwe has an installed capacity to produce 2 412MW, but only has an operating capacity of 1 400MW, against a peak demand of 1 900MW.

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