28 August 2017

Namibia: New Solar Plant to Add 5 Mw to National Grid

The N$120 million solar photovoltaic (PV) plant under construction near NamPower's Kokerboom sub-station outside Keetmanshoop will be connected to the national grid by the end of September this year.

The plant, developed by Momentous Solar One (Pty) Ltd under the mines and energy ministry's renewable energy feed-in tariff (Refit ) programme, will feed 5 megawatts (MW) into the national grid.

A Namibian-registered foreign company, Canadian Solar, owns the majority shares, while Namibian companies MTJ Investments and Momentous Energy owns the remaining stake in the new independent power producer (IPP), which formed part of the 14 Refit beneficiaries.

The Refit programme will inject up to 70MW of renewable energy into the grid.

To date, three of the 14 IPPs have been commissioned.

Electricity Control Board (ECB) CEO Foibe Namene was last month quoted in The Namibian as saying the interim Refit programme fits perfectly into the national integrated resource plan (NIRP), which was recently approved by Cabinet, where renewable energy is a critical component.

According to the ECB, close to N$100 billion is needed over the next 20 years to meet the country's increasing electricity demands. Much of the investment will come from domestic and international IPPs in the form of equity, and from financial institutions in the form of debt.

Thomas Lombardt, director of Momentous Solar One (Pty) Ltd, yesterday said the electricity supplier had in 2016 signed a 25-year purchase deal with NamPower to feed 5MW onto the national grid from its solar plant.

He revealed that "all mechanical construction work" has already been completed, and that the plant is expected to be operational by the end of September this year.

The construction of the solar plant started in May this year.

Lombardt said the company plans to develop additional power plants in the country.

"Solar energy is ideal for the country because of its perfect environmental conditions, " he stated.

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