Solar projects to curb power deficit
Published On July 22, 2015 » 1918 Views» By Administrator Times » Business, Stories
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Dodia -300 X174By MAIMBOLWA MULIKELELA –

THE planned development of 100 megawatts (MW) solar power projects under the arrangement between International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) will help reduce the current power deficit in the country.
This is according to the Private Sector Development Association (PSDA).
On Tuesday this week, IFC, an investment wing of the World Bank Group, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IDC.
The two projects will be implemented through the scaling up of the solar programme, making them the first utility scale photo-voltaics (PV) projects in the country.
PSDA chairperson Yusuf Dodia said once the 100MW came on stream, it would help reduce on the impact of the current load-shedding.
“Zambians will benefit from the two 50MW solar PV independent power projects as this will help reduce on the impact of load-shedding.
These solar projects will be useful for rural electrification and will benefit the rural community,” Mr Dodia said.
According to a statement obtained from IFC, the projects will provide competitively priced, clean power that would diversify the country’s energy supply mix.
The statement indicates that President Edgar Lungu directed IDC to develop at least 600MW of solar power in the shortest possible time to address the current power crisis.
IDC Zambia anticipates that the first two projects, with a combined initial target capacity of 100MW, will create the opportunity for subsequent expansion and the rapid scale-up in renewable energy generating capacity in Zambia.
President Lungu, who is also the board chair of IDC, said the new power projects were required to address the energy problems affecting Zambia.
“The Zambian Government is resolved to address the current hydro power shortages caused by low rainfall through active promotion and increased use of renewable energy technologies,” Mr Lungu said.
The proposed projects would be situated on separate sites and developed by different private sector sponsors, based on open and transparent selections.
Both projects would engage Zambian partners in the ownership structure and this will follow IFC’s recently launched Scaling Solar Initiative.
“IFC is developing this partnership with IDC Zambia to deliver affordable renewable energy that can mitigate the country’s ongoing energy crisis.” IFC director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Oumar Seydi said.

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