Econet unveils the largest industrial solar plant in Zimbabwe

By Staff reporter | 10 Apr 2019 at 15:17hrs
Econet solar launch
Econet Wireless has commissioned a 466KW solar power plant at its Willowvale industrial complex in Harare. The plant was engineered and designed by Distributed Power Africa (DPA). It is the largest commercial and industrial, carport and roof mount installation in the country.
 
The move into the solar business is in line with the Econet Wireless' commitment towards the adoption of clean and renewable energy in Zimbabwe.  The 466KW grid-tied solar system will operate under a 25-year Independent Power Producer (IPP) Licence as one of the few issued by the energy and power regulator for self-consumption. Under the licence, Econet Willowvale will generate and supply power for self-consumption which at peak is expected cater for nearly 45 percent of the business's electricity needs.
 
The Willowvale solar plant has a total of 1435 panels installed at carports and rooftops. It comes complete with a real-time power monitoring system and will generate an estimated 780MWH of energy per annum.
 
Speaking at the commissioning of the plant, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Group CEO Douglas Mboweni said the installation demonstrated the company's commitment to the adoption of clean and reliable energy.
 
"Our organisation launched a Green campaign in 2018 which has seen the company investing in alternative renewable energies, starting with six of our own business premises," he said.
 
"The commissioning of our Willowvale solar power plant demonstrates our focus to ensure that all our offices nationwide transition to clean and reliable energy as rapidly as possible" said Mboweni.
 
He also revealed that the company's OmniContact centre in Graniteside was the first solar plant installed, followed by Econet's local head office in Msasa and the company's commercial offices in Livingstone Avenue in Harare.
 
Further to that, he added that the Econet Bulawayo offices had also gone Green, with all the installations being done by DPA. He also added that work was at an advanced stage at Econet's major offices countrywide, including Mutare, Gweru and Masvingo, as the company aims to contribute to the global de-carbonisation of the energy sector.
 
DPA currently has a 100MW pipeline for deployment across a number of sectors within Zimbabwe. This year, the company will complete sizeable projects for customers in the manufacturing, hospitality and education sectors.
 
Speaking at the same event, DPA Zimbabwe CEO Divyajeet Mahajan said the adoption of clean solar energy was on the rise in Zimbabwe.
 
"With new technology, increased expertise and our viable financing solutions, the adoption of solar energy has increased significantly, and as Zimbabwe is gearing itself towards global competitiveness energy remains a critical pillar in our economic transformation.  In the global agenda, Zimbabwe seeks to achieve a 33% reduction in emissions by 2030 and the Willowvale installation will result in a marked reduction of its carbon footprint, by 285,000 kg per annum," said Mahajan.
 
To date DPA has successfully installed close to 20  solar systems regionally, including a 216,200 KWh per annum solar plant for the largest data centre facility in East Africa built in Nair.

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