Botswana issues tender for six solar power plants

BOTSWANA – The Botswana Power Corporation, Botswana’s national power utility, has issued a request for proposals for the development and construction of six solar PV power plants across the Southern Africa country.

The utility has not provided details on the combined and individual capacity of the solar plants nor has it disclosed details on their locations.

Interested developers have until Mar. 25 to submit their bids.

According to the latest statistics from the International Renewable Energy Agency, Botswana had just 6 MW of installed PV power at the end of 2021 and the country is also seeking to deploy large-scale PV capacities through several tenders.

In late 2020, Botswana’s Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security (MMGE) also launched a net metering scheme for rooftop PV systems.

Solar energy is expected to help Botswana reduce its dependence on electricity imports from South Africa, with its neighbor plagued by energy shortages due to an operational and financial crisis at national utility Eskom.

With an installed capacity of 450 MW, Botswana imports an additional 150 MW from South Africa. Power Africa estimates national demand at 550 MW.

 In its desire for change, Botswana recently received a US$1 million grant from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), a financing facility managed by the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The purpose of this support is to facilitate private investment in the renewable energy sector, including off-grid solutions that enable rural electrification.

In August 2021, Solarcentury Africa and Shumba Energy signed a partnership agreement to jointly develop solar power projects in Southern Africa, including an initial 100 MWp concession in Botswana.

The partnership between Solarcentury Africa and Shumba Energy involved the co-development of solar power projects in Southern Africa.

The project involves the construction of a solar photovoltaic plant in two phases of 50 MWp each. The first phase will occupy 300 hectares of land near the town of Francistown in eastern Botswana. 

“We are both delighted to have been able to attract a partner of the caliber and experience of Solarcentury Africa, which has a proven track record of delivering sustainable projects that can deliver on Shumba’s vision of maximizing our contribution to achieving carbon neutrality within our wider business and on our continent,” said Alan Clegg, Chairman of Shumba Energy at that time.

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