The meeco Group first provider of clean energy to install MWp sized PV plants in Zimbabwe
For years now, Zimbabwe has been enduring daily power outages that make life of its inhabitants harder. These power cuts are due to the production of power in Zimbabwe being lower than required by the national demand. Figures show that whereas Zimbabwe would need a daily power generation of 1,730 MWp to be fully operational, the country only produces 1,200 MWp per day, leading inevitably to shortages and long lasting-blackouts. For two years now, oursun Energy (Pvt) Ltd., the Zimbabwean joint venture of The meeco Group has concluded several agreements with Zimbabwean companies to improve its power supply situation. The group was the first European provider to enter the Zimbabwean market and also one of the first market participants, who is planning to install MWp sized grid connected photovoltaic plants.
As a European provider of clean energy, The meeco Group first noticed that, with its 300 days of sun per year, the Zimbabwean market commands the most important resource to be equipped with solar systems. Thanks to its level of radiation that is one of the highest in the world, Zimbabwe is ideal for the implementation of solar energy plants and related applications such as sun2live solar generation and energy storage systems, sun2light street lighting solutions or sun2flow water pumping systems. The vision of The meeco Group is to offer Zimbabwe solar systems in order to assist in solving outages problems and support the sustainable development of the country, in accordance with the core values of the company.
The meeco Group began its partnership with Zimbabwe in 2013 with the signature of the first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between The meeco Group and Oxygen Africa. Oxygen Africa activities consist in the support of international companies in the expansion of their business on the Zimbabwean market. The role of The meeco Group within the framework of the MoU was to provide its solar energy solutions whilst Oxygen Africa would support The meeco Group through its high expertise and knowledge of the Zimbabwean market. A few months later, The meeco Group and Oxygen Africa founded oursun Energy (Private) Limited, a joint venture that is focussing on supporting the agriculture, manufacturing, mining, telecom, and tourism industries in Zimbabwe, while using the world-class turnkey solutions provided by The meeco Group.
The year 2014 saw the partnership between The meeco Group, through its joint venture oursun Energy (Pvt) Ltd., and Oxygen get stronger with new projects such as the ZINWA project for the Zimbabwe National Water Authority, that focused on the development of sun2water solar-based water pumping and treatment systems designed by The meeco Group. Some few months later, oursun Energy (Pvt) Ltd. signed a new partnership with the BDO tax and Advisory services which role is to help the joint venture to develop its activity in Zimbabwe by offering Clear Advisory and Asset Management Services. The same year, oursun Energy (Pvt) Ltd. established a partnership with Powerspeed Electrical Ltd. and William Bain Holdings, aiming at supporting the distribution of The meeco Group turnkey solutions on the Zimbabwean market as well as for the development of a 5 up to possibly 30 MWp grid-connected solar photovoltaic project with Mosspatch Investments in the Harare and Melfort regions. To end this fruitful year, oursun Energy (Pvt) Ltd took part in the Zimbabwe Renewable Energy Conference (ZIMREC) and deliberated about strategic and technical solutions that will help to better integrate the renewable energy sector into the Zimbabwean economy.
In 2015, the partnership will continue to move in a positive direction with the alliance concluded with William Bain Holdings, the Zimbabwean leading manufacturer of agricultural equipment. This partner will be pushing forward for the development of sun2flow solar-based water pumping systems and help to stimulate the local market for The meeco Group products. The participation of oursun Energy (Pvt) Ltd., the Zimbabwean joint venture of Oxygen and The meeco Group, in a five-year project aiming at the installation of photovoltaic plants with a total capacity of 230 MWp in Zimbabwe is a well known fact. Thanks to its commitment in this large-scale project, oursun Energy (Private) Limited, was awarded the National Project Status, which will help the company to fulfill, in best conditions possible, its mission and its numerous projects to come in the years ahead.
The solar market in Zimbabwe is soaring up and by supporting and working hand in hand with its local partners, oursun Energy (Pvt) Ltd will be able to create new opportunities and further win-win partnerships in Zimbabwe’s energy sector.
Currently in Zimbabwe, the Kariba Hydro Power Station, the Hwange Thermal Station in addition to three other minor coal fired stations as well as Independent Power Producers in Hydro and Biomass are among the energy plants that are producing power. It is also to be noticed that these three coal-fired stations encounter difficulties in the generation of power such as frequent production stops or full days out of work due to maintenance necessity. The Zimbabwean government has tried to solve the power deficiency by importing power from neighbouring countries. The government owned power generating and distributing company, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), has also undertaken prevention campaigns to fight the excessive and unnecessary use of the grid. The government of Zimbabwe and ZESA have assured the population they will shield critical sectors such as hospitals, airports, central business districts and national security establishment, as well as the agricultural sector from load shedding and power cuts as far as possible. In order to do so, small-scale power generators have been installed all over the country to ease and improve the situation.
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In 2002, two major laws were enacted to improve the power generation capacity of Zimbabwe: The National Electricity Act and the Rural Electrification Act. The National Electricity Act liberalised the power sector by allowing the participation of independent power producers (IPP) in power generation. The Rural Electrification Act created the Rural Electrification Fund Board, which became responsible for the holding and distribution of Rural Electrification Funds for all rural electrification projects countrywide. The main purpose of this law was to provide a decentralised electrification using renewable energy.
The Zimbabwean Ministry of Energy and Power Development is strongly supporting the use of renewable energy and is currently heading its environmental policy up to it. This policy is being set up through many initiatives, such as the development of solar plants all over the country.
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