BOTSWANA – Renewable energy solutions provider Scatec and the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) have signed a binding 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for the construction of a solar photovoltaic (PV) facility with a contracted capacity of 50 MW at Selebi Phikwe.

Scatec owns 100% of the project and will be the designated engineering, procurement and construction company, asset manager, and operations and maintenance contractor.

Scatec will build the solar PV facility in Selibe Phikwe, a former mining town located in the eastern part of the country.

“Even though Botswana possesses 66% of Africa’s coal resources, the nation’s ambitions to drive a renewable energy transformation are clear to see. Neighbouring country, South Africa, has displayed that the transition to renewables can be cost effective and sustainable – whilst aligning to global carbon emission reduction goals,” the company points out.

“Renewables should account for 15% of Botswana’s energy mix by 2030 – while the country’s Vision 2036 calls for a 50% renewable energy allocation by 2036.”

The solar power plant is expected to result in a reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions of about 48 000 t of carbon dioxide.

Scatec highlights this as a significant development for Botswana and for the green energy transition in sub-Saharan Africa.

Botswana is rich in natural resources and has vast solar energy potential, receiving over 3 200 hours of sunshine yearly, it adds.

“We are proud to have reached this milestone with the BPC – demonstrating our ability to support and deliver clean energy and infrastructure to sub-Saharan Africa. It is also a significant achievement for the people of Botswana,” says sub-Saharan Africa GM Jan Fourie.

Last month, impact investor responsAbility Investments has announced long-term debt financing to build two solar PV plants in Botswana. The projects will be developed in Bobonong, Central District (3 MW), and Shakawe, North-West District (1 MW).

But the country currently does not have any large-scale solar power plant, and its 600 MW national energy demand is majorly met by coal-fired power plants.

The future 50 MW solar power plant will boost power supplies and increase clean energy shares in Botswana. Renewable energy will account for 15% of the country’s energy share by 2030 while its ‘Vision 2036’ plan calls for a 50% clean energy allocation by 2036.

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