Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Stefan Schwarzfischer, said they would electrify 20 villages across the country using solar power plants.
He made the announcement at signing ceremony of the power purchase agreement between BPC and a company called d Tobela Solar Power. The agreement was signed by Dr Schwarzfischer on behalf of BPC while Chief Executive Officer, Morteza Abkenari, signed on behalf of d Tobela Solar Power.
Schwarzfischer said BPC needs to take closer steps into a greener environment by increasing the country’s green energy by up to 25 percent by the year 2025. “This means Botswana needs to establish 250 megawatts from solar capacities within the next 10 years,” he said.
He described the signing ceremony as a high objective, pointing out that so far the project was the only coal fired solar power in Botswana. The task is for all of us to make a change, he said. “We will connect more people in the rural villages,” he promised.
Schwarzfischer said Government and BPC would achieve such an objective through the implementation of some of selected projects. The first project is BPC establishment of a 100 megawatt solar power plant construction which will start in 2018. Secondly, he said, they would electrify more rural areas which are mainly far off from BPC power grid by using 1 mega watt solar power plants in the future.
“We will be building distribution network in these villages as well and we have already identified 20 villages that we are going to provide with power in the next 12 months,” he said.
The BPC CEO said there would be establishment of solar grid type solar grid type power plants with size of 1, 2, 3 megawatts in 12 dedicated villages with an overall capacity of 60 megawatts . He also revealed that BPC has just signed memorandum of understanding for the Seronga village for establishment of 1 mega watt solar power.
For his part, Abkenari said they were conscious of the fact that knowledge is power and to access power, “we are continuing towards empowering the masses.”
He commended the new management of BPC saying “there is a breath of fresh air there.”
Assistant Minister of Health and Wellness, Phillip Makgalemele revealed that Kgalagadi Resources Development Company had written to 57 members of parliament detailing their proposal to electrify villages in Botswana with solar power energy.
“I knew that that it meant they had something important to offer,” he said adding that government welcomed the idea because it had also committed to promote Public Private Partnership (PPP), as well as the promotion of use of renewable energy.