Botswana’s 100MW Solar Power Plant Project Still on Track

Solar Power Plant (BPC)

Botswana - The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) is pressing on with its proposed 100MW solar power plant.

The Botswana power utility recently revealed in a statement that it has initiated the process to appoint a Joint Venture Partner for the construction of the solar power plant.

In June 2017 BPC invited submissions of Expression of Interest (EoI) and has received 166 responses from both local and external companies and consortiums.

The power utility is expected to have concluded the shortlisting of companies for the next stage of the tender selection process following Botswana’s Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Board (PPADB) regulations as well as the utility’s procurement processes.

“The 100MW solar power plant will augment Botswana’s power supply portfolio and reduce the country’s carbon footprint and help conserve the environment. Botswana has one of the highest solar energy ratings globally. The investment in the 100MW solar power plant sets the stage for more fully exploiting this natural resource that the country has in abundance and begins to deliver on the nation’s Vision 2036 commitment and our National Commitment under the Paris Climate Agreement for a significant percentage of our energy to be sourced from renewable green sources,” the BPC statement said.

The development of the solar power plant planned for 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 Corporation plans to conclude identification of and the securing of agreement with a JV Partner on a timeline for the project to start in December 2017 and for the entire 100MW Solar Power capacity to feed into the National Grid during the 2018/19 financial year. Solar Power plants lend themselves to modular installation and every opportunity will be taken for every completed stage/phase to begin feeding into the grid in instalments until all the targeted 100MW supply is established,” the BPC statement concluded.