BOTSWANA – Solar power provider Solarcentury Africa and Shumba Energy, have signed a partnership agreement to jointly develop solar power projects in Southern Africa, including an initial 100 MWp concession in Botswana.
Shumba Energy, a major player in the Botswana energy sector, has chosen to include its Tati solar project in the new partnership, a major development for the project, which received approval from the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) in early July 2021.
“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,” says Alan Clegg, Chairman of Shumba Energy.
Through the Tati solar plant, the Gaborone-based company wants to diversify its portfolio of projects in Botswana, while at the same time enabling the southern African country to increase its installed capacity.
The Power Africa initiative estimates that Botswana, which is partly dependent on its neighbor South Africa for its electricity supply, has an installed capacity of 450 MW from the Morupule B coal-fired plant.
For its part, Solarcentury Africa is embarking on the development of large-scale, grid-tied solar projects, just months after it was acquired by B.B. Energy (BBE), a London, UK-based oil and gas trader.
The solar power provider has an installed capacity of 2.1 GW of power sold to mining operators and large commercial and industrial (C&I) customers in Africa and Its experience in developing solar projects is expected to contribute to the construction of the Tati solar plant, as well as other facilities in southern Africa.
This comes as Independent Power Producer (IPP) Sturdee Energy having signed two power purchase agreements (PPAs) for its Bobonong and Shakawe solar PV plants in Botswana with the state-owned Botswana Power Corporation (BPC).
The larger solar plant will be built in the Bobonong sub-district in the east of the country, with an expected capacity of 3 MWp.
The electricity generated by this plant will be fed into the BPC grid from a 66/33 kV substation. The Shakawe solar plant, with an expected capacity of 1 MWp, will be located in the north of the country and its output will feed into the Botswana national grid from the 33/11 kV Shakawe substation.