Hwange Local Board is working on establishing a solar power plant which will generate electricity for the mining town and enable it to sell excess to the national grid.

The local authority has so far received an expression of interest from both local and foreign companies wishing to invest in the project.

In an effort to adopt the use of clean technology and contribute to the value addition in the energy sector, the board has set aside a developed 13.5 hectare piece of land for the plant.

Solar has been chosen as the source of power, since it is free and in abundance in the country.

Hwange Local Board Chief Executive Officer Mr Ndumiso Mdlalose said the local authority is now calling for formal bids for the project which is expected to attract an investment of US$30 million.

“We have on our part made land available. It’s now title surveyed so when we engage prospective partners, we are coming on board with a fully serviced piece of land, which will then form the basis of or negotiations in the joint venture,” he explained.

Although the target is to generate at least 50 megawatts, the final amount of energy generated will only be established once the investment deal has been concluded with the company which will win the bid.

Once the project sails through, it is expected to start with the new suburb being developed in conjunction with the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe at a cost of US$6 million.