Namibia’s first solar power plant to be completed in December

WINDHOEK; Namibia will soon have a photovoltaic power plant that will feed carbon-free electricity into NamPower’s national power grid, replacing 5 537 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

The photovoltaic power plant, also known as a solar park, will be constructed in Omburu near Omaruru in the Erongo Region at a cost of over N.dollars 135 million.

The plant is a large-scale photovoltaic (PV) system designed for the supply of merchant power into the electricity grid.

It will consist of 30 000 solar panels on 15 hectares of land.

Mines and Energy Minister Isak Katali said in his speech delivered during the ground-breaking ceremony and made available to Nampa on Tuesday that the renewable energy power plant will supply over one per cent of Namibia’s global domestic power generation.

It will be Namibia’s first and largest solar power project, and the 4.5 megawatts (MW) plant is anticipated to produce about 11,025 MW hours of clean and reliable electricity per year.

Namibian renewable energy development company, InnoSun Energy Holdings (Pty) Ltd; and Omburu Sun Energy (Pty) Ltd, a local independent power producer (IPP), are the government’s key partners in the project.

The minister assured that the government is committed to the implementation of the provision of solar power, and encourage the usage of renewable energy as an alternative to coal electricity.

He noted that this historic solar project will improve the supply of electricity to the country, and represents an important milestone in the development of the energy infrastructure in Namibia as a whole.

“As a government some of our aims and objectives with regards to energy include: improving the level of innovation with technology, the supply of electricity and especially the security of supply and in turn self-sustainability of energy supply.

The power plant will feed into the national grid system for 25 years, said Katali.

The minister noted that the construction of this power plant will also provide future increase in electricity demands and the population grows, thus avoiding power shortages as seen in the neighbouring countries like South Africa.

Speaking at the same occasion, InnoSun Energy Holding’s Chief Executive Officer, Gregoire Verhaeghe said InnoSun Energy Holding started work on Namibia’s first utility-scale ground-mounted PV power plant in August this year, and aims to complete the project by December 2014.

InnoSun is the sister company to the French-based company InnoVent, created in 2010 to develop, construct, finance and operate solar photovoltaic plants.

Verhaeghe said the company foresees many more projects in the near future which will supply more energy capacity, thus enabling Namibia to become a self-sustaining country.

“We have received outstanding support from the contractors, the Development Bank of Namibia, the Electricity Control Board as well as the community at large. I look forward to continuing this relationship and to more successful events as these,” he said.