Tuesday, April 16, 2024

BPC is looking for Solar power projects partners

Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) will soon be floating tenders for seven small scale grid-tied solar PV projects with a combined capacity of 20MW.

The tenders are said to be restricted to 100 percent citizen owned companies. This was revealed that BPC CEO David Kgobo at the BPC and SCATEC 50MW Grid tied solar PV PPA signing ceremony and stated that the Corporation is planning to host an investors and financiers’ conference to brief them about these investment opportunities.

“I am also pleased to inform you that the procurement of a developer for the second utility scale 50MW solar PV project to be located in Jwaneng, is in progress and tender award is expected in December 2022,” said Kgoboko.

He said the signing ceremony, marks yet another milestone towards realizing a sustainable energy mix, self-sufficiency in power generation and becoming a net exporter of power. He added that Scatec will finance, build, own, and operate the solar plant which will be located in a SPEDU area between Mmadinare and Selebi Phikwe. Kgoboko said the power plant is expected to be in commercial operation by the end of June 2024.

“This PPA provides for the generation of 50MW of electricity by Scatec and offtake of the power by BPC for a period of 25 years. In line with our commitment and support towards government efforts on citizen economic empowerment, the project has a mandatory local content plan to be met by Scatec,” said Kgoboko.

He further said the local content plan requires that the citizen owned companies should have a minimum of 40 percent shareholding in the project company and that allocation of construction works and operation and maintenance services to Batswana entities, shall be at values not less than 18 percent and 85 percent respectively. He is of the view that BPC encourages citizen participation in these projects so that Batswana can be in the forefront of the transformational journey. He added that most importantly, adding that this will ensure the industry is sustainable, and that Batswana economically benefit from the entire value chain.

He also stated that the Selebi Phikwe 50MW solar PV plant is one of the renewable energy projects in the approved Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) which government has mandated BPC to implement.

“The Corporation has a mandate to procure Independent Power Producers for the development of two grid connected utility scale solar PV plants, and 12 small scale grid-tied solar PV plants with a combined capacity of 35MW,” said Kgoboko.

Scatec Senior Business Developer Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, Eben de Vos by signing the Power Purchase Agreement, Scatec has the obligation to finalise the development and funding of the project, commence and complete construction of the 50 MW solar PV facility at Selebi Phikwe, which is then followed by a 25 year period during which BPC has the obligation to buy the electricity produced.

“For the past 15 years Scatec has been at the forefront of renewable energy project (solar) development and investment in emerging and high growth markets, and today it has evolved into a leading provider of solar, wind and hydropower, with 3.5 GW of installed capacity across four continents,” said de Vos.

He believes that Botswana need not only consider how to close its energy gap (in terms of access and availability), but how to do so in a sustainable and responsible manner.


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