Solgas Energy feeds 5MW to national grid

INDEPENDENT power producer, Solgas Energy, has commissioned a five megawatt solar power plant and has started feeding into the national grid.

The start-up is backed by a US$7,3 million facility through a joint partnership with Old Mutual.

Speaking at the launch at Cross Mabale in Hwange District on Wednesday, Solgas Energy chief financial officer and co-founder Tafadzwa Mundicha said the plant started feeding into the grid on October 3.

He said the plant was still in commissioning stage, which lasts three months. 

Mundicha said a 28km live power line was erected to connect to a Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company base station in Cross Dete. 

The project has received support from locals, having employed more than 300 people from the local community, 40 percent of them female, at the peak of its construction work.

“Our first phase is now complete and running and we are feeding 5MW into the national power grid. We are grateful for this partnership with Old Mutual as it has allowed us as youths to contribute to solving power supply challenges being faced by the country,” said Mundicha.

Old Mutual chief executive officer Samuel Matsekete said his organisation was proud to be working with young people in finding innovative solutions to address community problems, and said investing into green energy was one of the best ways to preserve the future.

“We are proud of this partnership with Solgas Energy. There are plans to expand it to 20 megawatts with an additional 15 megawatts soon, with the target being to generate 50 megawatts at full project capacity. 

“In line with COP26, we are making a commitment to green energy, this is where we should be all going,” he said.

The Old Mutual boss said they had other projects in Gwanda, Chipinge and Masvingo, among others.

He said the financial services institution had invested US$20 million in such projects in 2020. 

“We are committed to playing our part in addressing challenges in the energy sector and we are prioritising sustainability,” he said.

Zimbabwe has in recent weeks been experiencing power challenges following faults at the thermal power station in Hwange.

This has resulted in cities such as Bulawayo reintroducing water shedding owing to power supply-induced problems in water treatment.

Andile Tshuma 

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