N$193m committed to solar power

Martin Endjala

The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has committed N$193 million to finance a new solar power generation plant, near the Kahn substation in the Namib Desert. The plant is expected to produce and add about 20 MW into Nampower’s Kahn substation, from where it will be distributed to households and industrial consumers.

This was confirmed yesterday by the DBN corporate communication and stakeholder relations specialist Di-Anna Grobler during the signing of the agreement.

Anirep Aussenkjerr Solar One, a start-up company, was the recipient of a 25-year tender to produce power for Nampower. The solar plant, 40 km from Usakos, will be developed by HopSol Africa, also a local company.

The company consists of two local partner companies, Anirep Solar and Aussenkjer Energy Investments. Anirep is listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange.

DBN Head of Marketing and Corporate Communication, Jerome Mutumba stated that local generation of electricity is paramount to ensure that Namibia is not dependent on imports.

He said Namibia’s largest power generation facility, Ruacana Hydroelectric Power Station is dependent on fluctuating levels of the Kunene River.

Similarly, the impact of the levels of the Kunene River, power production from the Ruacana Hydroelectric Power Station fell by 87.5 percent in July 2021, Mutumba pointed out, saying the decline points not just to developing local power generation, but also to the need for stable sources of generation, such as solar.

“Fluctuation in generation leads to fluctuations in costs which have an impact on Namibia’s deficit as well as on the medium to long-term costs of industry, as Nampower and regional distributors have to adjust their costs, by stabilising power generation,’’ says Mutumba.

Namibia, he continued, can become a more attractive destination for investors seeking opportunities in Namibian industrialisation if the country has a stable supply of electricity.

On the topic of privately-owned solar generation facilities, Mutumba said that independent power producers (IPPs) are an ideal means to promote economic inclusiveness.

Solar generation has benefits, hence stakeholders are urged to approach the Bank to examine business models and potential for future projects.

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