The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) is set to embark on a massive solar energy project under which the initial plant to be built in MazoweÂ willÂ produce 10 mega watts which is said to be enough to power a town like Marondera and its peripheries.With the realisation that the existing thermal and hydro power stations in the countryâ€™s generation capacity might never satisfy demand even operating at full capacity, REA has decided to invest in solar energy which is renewable.
REA Board Chairperson, Mr Jerry Gotora said his organisation has found itself a business partner to install a solar project in Mazowe district that is to initially produce 10 mega watts while a feasibility study will be done.Â
He said the visiting 6 member Chinese delegation currently in the country on that mission has toured the site of the solar project and are satisfied, adding that negotiations with the Chinese Photovoltaic Industry are at an advanced stage with the signing of a MOU expected soon.
â€œWe are expecting to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with our Chinese partners, who have since expressed satisfaction in the partnership deal,â€ said Mr Gotora.
The project which is expected to start in February or March next year and expected to be complete after a year, will see rural, mining and farming communities in and around Mazowe benefiting from uninterrupted solar power supplies.
Speaking through an interpreter, General Manger for Shaanxi Photovoltaic Industry, Dr Hongbin Liu who is leading the delegation said his organisation, which is state-owned intends to co-operate with Zimbabwe and take advantage of the abundant sunshine to produce environmentally friendly power from the sun.
Currently the countryâ€™s major power stations; Kariba and Hwange are not operating to full capacity while the three small thermal power stations; Munyati and Harare are grounded.
Even though all the power stations were to operate at full capacity, Zimbabwe will still face a power deficit of over 500 mega watts.