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Matshela Energy seeks amendment of licence

by Staff reporter
28 Jan 2020 at 12:36hrs | Views
INDEPENDENT Power Producer, Matshela Energy (Private) Limited has applied for the amendment of its power generation licence to entail an additional 40 megawatthour energy storage facility to the proposed 100MW solar plant.  

Last year, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) granted the IPP a 25-year licence to establish a 100MW solar photovoltaic power plant in Gwanda district, Matabeleland South province.

In a public notice yesterday, Matshela Energy indicated that it has applied for the amendment of its electricity generation licence at Gwanda Timber Farm.

"Matshela Energy, a company licenced under the Electricity Act (Chapter 13:19) of 2002 to construct, own and operate a 100MW solar photovoltaic power plant at Gwanda Timber Farm, Matabeleland South, as an independent power producer has submitted an application to Zera for amendment of its generation licence number GC0082/2019 in terms of Section 49 (1)(b) of the Electricity Act (Chapter 13:19)," reads part of the public notice.

"The licence amendment would entail the addition of a 40MWh energy storage facility to the proposed 100MW solar photovoltaic power plant."

It said the amendment has been necessitated by the requirement to install an energy storage facility for frequency regulations to enhance grid stability during major systems disturbances.

The IPP said the public notice was being issued in terms of Section 49 (2) of the Electricity Act which requires that the applicant shall publish a notice of the proposed alterations or amendments to his/her licence stating the period within which objections or representations may be made to the authority.

If granted permission by the energy regulator to make the required alterations on the licence,  Matshela Energy will be able produce, store and sell electricity from the proposed power plant to any customers. It is envisaged that the coming to fruition of the project would add impetus to the much-needed power supply to the national grid.

Since 2010, Zera has licenced over 70 IPPs whose projects are at different stages of implementation. However, the majority of the IPP projects are failing to take-off largely due to funding constraints.

Faced with a drought that has resulted in reduced power generation at Zimbabwe's main hydro-electric power station and antiquated equipment at other plants, the country is grappling with an acute electricity deficit.

As of yesterday, the Zimbabwe Power Company indicated on its website that the country was producing 574MW against a national demand of 2 000MW at present.

Due to the prevailing power constraints, economic development is being compromised as the key productive sectors including the manufacturing sector are enduring long hours of load shedding.  

In certain situations, some industries have resorted to using diesel-powered generators to continue operating but the initiative has proved costly.

Source - chronicle