solar project
In southern Africa, Namibia's scope of renewable energy growth is set to escalate as the construction of a 27MW solar energy farm starts near Arandis, Erongo Region.

According to local media, the Trekkopje solar project is owned by a consortium including local firm SertumEnergy Namibia, a Namibian businessman Elton Katangolo and an Italian energy expert and businessman Enrico Barbaglia.

The media reported that Barbaglia’s involvement in the Namibian energy development dates back to the Kudu gas project.

Solar project to bring light to Namibians

Speaking at the launch ceremony in Swakopmund, Katangolo said: “We wanted to bring more electricity to Namibia through local generation. We wanted to help government plug the holes in energy supply.”

An Italian-listed company specialising in the development and construction of solar plants globally, Enertronica is reported to have committed to assist with the establishment of the 50 hectare solar farm that will comprise 18,000 solar panels fitted with sun trackers.

The media also reported that the solar project will be implemented in two phases, with the first phase comprising the setting up of 5MW capacity.

Barbaglia revealed that the second phase of 22MW will soon supplement the first phase.

Barbaglio stated that sufficient power will be supplied to meet the energy needs of 10,000 families in Namibia. The project is said to have a revisable lifespan of 25 years.

Solar energy plants lack backing

Commenting on the new development, Veston Malango, CEO of Namibian Chamber of Mines, commended SertumEnergy for persisting when it came to realising its proposed investment.

Malango said:”This is a good example of an investor’s commitment to the cause.” He said this, while noting that there is limited support for these kinds of projects in the country.

According to the report, Malango disclosed that about 31 licences for solar energy plants have been issued by the Namibian government; however, not many have been executed yet.

“There are maybe five that we can see, but where are the rest? Very few are coming to fruition. Even though government supports the initiatives, applicants turn around and first want guarantees from government. This is frustrating,” he said.

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