Botswana Power Corporation Seeks Solar Power Plant Partner

Solar Power Plant (African Leadership Magazine)

Botswana – Botswana’s state owned power utility, Botswana Power Corporation (BPC), is inviting private companies for a partnership to build a 100 megawatt (MW) solar power plant.

The development of the solar power plant two years from appointment of the preferred Independent Power Producer (IPP) joint venture partner is intended to address current power supply challenges, and to meet future electricity demands.

The new solar power plant will be constructed, commissioned, owned and operated, by the IPP joint venture company. This initiative is in line with Botswana’s National Energy Policy goal of providing affordable, reliable and adequate supply of energy for sustainable development, as well as improving access to and efficient use of energy resources.

Like most southern African countries, Botswana is facing a huge power supply deficit owing to diminished surplus generation capacity in the region and the growing electrical energy requirements in the country.

The country’s main power plants consist of Morupule A with an installed capacity of 132MW and Morupule B with 600MW. However, the available base generation capacity currently averages 260MW only from Morupule B power station since the Morupule A plant is undergoing refurbishment.

“The current peak demand stands at approximately 600MW and the supply gap is met through imports mainly from South Africa (Eskom) and some from Mozambique (EDM),” BPC revealed in a statement.

“According to the twenty year national electricity demand forecast (2015 to 2035), it is predicted that the electricity demand will grow from a diversified base of approximately 606 MW in 2015 to an expected High Scenario of approximately 1, 523 MW in 2035. The Low Scenario will reach approximately 1184 MW and the most likely Scenario is expected to grow to an estimated value of 1,359 MW in 2035. This is based on the average growth rate per annum for the low, likely and high scenarios of 8%, 10% and 11% respectively,” the statement added.

Besides addressing energy security, BPC has also explained that the solar power plant will also help Botswana to increase the share of new and renewable sources of energy in the country’s energy supply mix.

“The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) would therefore like to engage companies or firms into a Joint Venture for the development, implementation and operation of a 100 MW Solar Power Plant with suitable storage capacity. The plant will be located in Botswana, and the new formed Joint Venture will sell its power to BPC through a Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA).

Therefore, Expression of Interest is invited from power generation companies /Independent Power Producers (IPPs) /power plant developers / Captive Power Producers for developing a solar power plant in a joint venture with BPC,” Botswana’s power utility’s statement concluded.