Zimbabwe: Zvimba RDC Eyes 10mw Solar Project

22 February 2020

ZVIMBA Rural District Council is working on developing a 10MW solar power station that will power Murombedzi Growth Point with excess electricity being fed onto the national grid to earn the council cash.

Plans to set up the solar power station are at an advanced stage, with council having already engaged regulatory authorities and partnered a private firm. The partnership has a component of the Zimplats Mhondoro-Ngezi-Chegutu-Zvimba Community Share Ownership Scheme Trust.

Zesa has since engaged Zvimba RDC to have the excess from the 10MW fed onto the national grid.

Part of the projects will be implemented from $64 million earmarked for the rural council in Mashonaland West under the devolution drive.

Zvimba RDC acting chief executive Mr Emmanuel Chitombo said the projects were tailored to stop the council from relying on land sales.

"The solar project has been lined up starting with Murombedzi and the plans are at an advanced stage as we have already registered our intention with Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority and the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority.

"A private company is currently working on the paperwork and Zesa has since engaged us so that we feed power produced onto the national grid," said Mr Chitombo.

The project is expected to also cover Banket at a later stage.

Mr Chitombo said the solar project sought to guarantee power supplies to attract investment and ensure that residents benefit.

"If we really manage the project, Zvimba will never struggle for power and this will change the face of Murombedzi and boost business as people will invest knowing that electricity is guaranteed," he said.

The major blight on the RDC, he said, has been the absence of sustainable sources of income outside land sales.

Priority areas, he said, include agriculture, hospitality and tourism and property development, among others.

Zvimba plans to recall at least 14 bulls bought from the Matopos Research Centre in 2019 that it had given to the community under the livestock breeding programme.

"We have a starting point as we have our bulls in the community, which we can withdraw and even swap some with heifers to venture into cattle breeding," he said.

Zvimba RDC was also considering putting a boat on Biri Dam to explore tourism and hospitality after getting the green light from the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.

"We want to build a resort and a conference centre at Biri Dam to attract people who want to have meetings or workshops," said Mr Chitombo.

He said Zvimba had subdivided most of its urban land into residential stands in projects such as Sandton, but had

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