NamPower increases affordable electricity with the launch of 20 MW solar power plant

NAMIBIA – Namibian state-owned utility, NamPower, has inaugurated the utility’s first fully owned 20MW photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Omaruru in the Erongo region.

The Omburu PV project which took 15 months to complete, was constructed through a joint venture between Hopsol Africa and Tulive Private Equity.

According to Nampower, the plant, which occupies 40 hectares, is expected to supply 67.8 GWh of clean energy annually

Kornelia Shilunga, deputy minister of Mines and Energy, said Namibia continues to make strides towards transitioning to the use of renewable sources for energy supply.

“We are all aware that Namibia is heavily reliant on importing electricity from South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, but the picture is changing, step by step,” she said, adding that solar and wind are the answer to electricity independence.

Kahenge Haulofu, Nampower managing director, said the utility adopted its Integrated Strategic Business plan in 2020 in which the company identified its strategic focus, application and prioritization of resources over the next five years.

Nampower ratified the implementation of the following projects, 20 MW Omburu power station and a 40 MW wind project which is currently in the bidding phase. We hope to award the EPC contract in the first quarter of 2023,” he added.

Haulofu further said a 40 MW biomass power project is currently in a bidding phase which is expected to be concluded in August 2022.

Namibia is committed to increasing the local electricity generation capacity from 624 to 879 MW by 2025, through commissioning 50 MW of IPP projects and an additional 220 MW generation by NamPower by 2025, Shilunga concluded.

Currently, various solar generation projects are underway in Namibia, including the construction of the new 5.7 MW Rosh Pinah Solar Park and another 20 MW solar plant to be developed by Hopsol near the Khan Substation in the Namib Desert amongst others.

According to Shilunga, the ministry had approved a number of policies such as the National Renewable Energy Policy, National Energy Policy and the Independent Power Producers’ (IPP) policy to support this power trajectory.

“These policy instruments are aimed at encouraging investment in Namibia’s renewable energy sector and the development of clean, green energy for our country,” noted Shilunga.

Government is further committed to increasing local electricity generation capacity from 624MW to 879MW by 2025 through commissioning 50MW of Independent Power Producer (IPP) projects, and an additional 220MW generation by NamPower by 2025.

Shilunga said this includes providing electricity to 213 new schools and health facilities, while electrifying 6000 rural and 13 000 peri-urban households.

The deputy minister added that Namibia is blessed with renewable energy sources, which largely remain untapped. There is thus a wealth of opportunities in the expansion and production of renewable energy sources, a drive that is set well on the way to closing the energy gap on the continent, while contributing to the acceleration of an energy transition.

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