A subsidiary of German developer Soventix has bagged a contract to build one of the largest solar PV projects in Zimbabwe standing at 22MW.

This month, Soventix South Africa will start constructing the Harava project across 40 hectares of land in the Bwoni Village, Seke Rural District which is located South West of the city of Harare. The project is being funded by Botswana-based clean energy investor and IPP Invest Solar Africa limited.

Local villagers will own 10% of the project through a Community Development Share Ownership Trust.

The fixed-tilt PV project will include 66,528 solar modules and 192 string inverters, and would have an approximate energy generation capacity of 40GWh per year.

Energy costs in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana and Zambia are high, while businesses do not have reliable power supply, giving strong opportunities for solar deployment.

‘‘Infrastructure development, particularly energy generation is a cornerstone to growing an economy. Pioneering such projects into Africa has its challenges, however through commitment and tenacity both Soventix SA and the developer have overcome. I am very confident that the excellent cooperation will continue throughout the realization process and I am looking forward to the start of construction. It is a privilege to be part of this project,“ says Jean-Paul de Villiers, MD of Soventix South Africa.

“The photovoltaic market in Zimbabwe is still in the initial stage. Hence, the country offers great weather conditions to use the potential of solar energy. With the high and predictable level of irradiation photovoltaics could be used to stabilise electricity supply and reduce energy costs. Solar energy in southern Africa has convincing prospects for the population, local economy and international investors. I am confident that we will continue our successful development in the African growth markets with our experience and our know-how,” added Thorsten Preugschas, CEO of SOVENTIX.

Over the summer Zimbabwean firm Karo Mining Holdings said it planned to build a 300MW solar project close to its new platinum mining operations west of Harare instead of its original plans for a 600MW coal-fired power plant, after discussions with the Zimbabwean government.

Tags: zimbabwe, soventix, community solar, shared ownership solar