BayWa r.e. commissions 1MW solar plant in Zambia
With the commissioning of a 1 MW photovoltaic plant, BayWa r.e. has installed the largest PV project in Zambia to date. The groundmounted system was realised for the local energy provider Copperbelt Energy Corporation Plc (CEC). The project was made possible by the joint efforts of the Project Development Programme (PDP) of the GIZ and the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHK) – both part of the German Energy Solutions Initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy – who convinced CEC of the economic advantages of using German Engineering for such an important first project.
BayWa r.e. installed and commissioned the PV plant in only three weeks and will further assist the operation of the photovoltaic plant from Germany for one year.
“With the commissioning of the biggest photovoltaic plant in Zambia to date, we are furthering our commitment in the African market and making an important contribution to increasing the use of solar power in Southern Africa,” says Tobias Kriete, Regional Manager Africa at BayWa r.e. Solar Projects GmbH.
A central part of this project is an extensive training programme in the areas of project development, plant maintenance, and operational management. Whilst BayWa r.e. covered the O&M aspects, the PDP focused on project development training. In addition, PDP also developed a Renewable Energies curriculum for the Copperbelt University in Kitwe. The university will use the PV plant as a training facility and for educational purposes.
“We are particularly proud of our contribution to the unique training programme, which enables the development of local expertise for the plant to be run without support from abroad in the long term. We will also rely on this transfer of know-how for other projects which we are currently planning in the region. We like to thank PDP as part of the German Energy Solutions Initiative for supporting German companies venturing into foreign markets. Their lobbying for quality "made in Germany" proved very helpful” says Tobias Kriete, Regional Manager Africa at BayWa r.e Solar Projects GmbH.
CEC is the owner and operator of the plant. “Being a developer of energy infrastructure and a renowned electricity supplier, we are particularly happy with the successful completion of the plant and look forward to further cooperation with BayWa r.e. and GIZ,” states Aaron Botha, Chief Projects Officer. “By integrating the plant into the teaching programme of Copperbelt University, and with the extensive training programme, we are ensuring that the know-how of building and operating photovoltaic plants will continue to grow into the future. Further, we will be able to provide our customers with reliable power supply from a diversified energy mix that includes solar energy. CEC will continue to support the further diversification of Zambia’s energy supply sources.”