In southern Africa, the first phase of the 150MW solar power plant, led by joint venture De Green Rhino Energy, has failed to come online because no power purchase agreement (PPA) has as yet been signed.
According to local media the Chronicle, the PPA was meant to have been signed last month between the joint venture company and the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC).
De Green Rhino Energy
De Green Rhino is a partnership between a local company De Opper Trading and a UK-based clean energy company, Green Rhino Energy.
The Chronicle reported that the Marondera solar power plant has now been fully implemented, with the first phase expected to output 50MW.
De Opper Trading’s CEO Francis Gogwe told the media that negotiations for the PPA along with the implementation have taken longer than expected, resulting in a delay in the construction of the project.
Gogwe said: “Construction of the 50MW under the first phase of the project was supposed to begin this month, but hasn’t begun as we’re yet to sign the power purchase agreement between ourselves and ZETDC.
“The signing of the power purchase agreement and implementation agreement was supposed to have been done in August.”
He explained that while waiting for the signing of the PPA, they are currently building offices at the site of the project.
The news is contradicting an earlier statement by the company’s chairman, Ishmael Kaguru, who was reported to have confirmed the signing of the PPA in April 2016.
According to local media Sunday News, Kaguru had said: “Our investors recently sent a team of legal experts to work out a PPA between our company and ZETDC and that has since been concluded. We agreed on a tariff of $0,17 per kilowatt.”
He added: “The second issue we are working on at the moment is getting a sovereign guarantee from the government. The sovereign or government guarantee will ensure that in case ZETDC fails to pay us our tariffs, the government will do so. However, this will be just a formality.”