Zambia’s state-owned power company ZESCO Limited and Power China have signed three contracts worth $548m to develop a 600MW grid-connected to solar PV power plants.
To be located in Chibombo, Chirundu, and Siavonga districts of Zambia, the solar plants will help the southern African nation to ease the power shortages and bring an end to load shedding that it has been experiencing for the last few years.
Zambian consumers and businesses have in the last two years been experiencing load shedding of up to 15 hours a day due to drought that has affected the country’s largest hydro power plant and main source of electricity generation at the Kariba dam.
The three-grid connected solar PV projects will each have a capacity of 200MW.
Victor Mundende, managing director, ZESCO Limited, said the signing of the three contracts is historic for ZESCO and Zambia as a whole, as it is a significant step towards diversifying renewable energy development in power generation.
Mundende added that the project, will bring several benefits, greatly profit the over one million current and potential customers by increasing access to reliable electricity, enhance industrial development and create employment opportunities for local people.
He urged Power China to ensure that the plant technology takes advantage of the tremendous technologies that are continually improving on the market. “We want Power China to expedite the works on time with due care to quality, performance, and safety,” he said
Wang Junzhou, authorised representative at PowerChina, said the company was proud to partner with ZESCO in the provision of clean energy which will contribute to optimising power structure, grid stability, and contribute to the much needed economic growth in Zambia.