Chinese Power Utility Proposes US$1 Billion Floating Solar Farm On Lake Kariba
Chinese state-owned energy conglomerate, China Energy Engineering Corporation has proposed building a 1 000-megawatt floating solar farm for Zimbabwe on Lake Kariba.
The company said the civil engineering works would cost US$186 million and installation US$801 million, reported Bloomberg.
According to an official report that was prepared for China Energy and potential private equity funders by the company, more than 1.8 million photovoltaic panels installed over 146 modular floating units would be used for the project on Lake Kariba if it went ahead.
China Energy has installed floating panels on China’s Dingzhuang River and in Thailand, the company said in the presentation.
The Kariba report was prepared for Zimbabwe Power Co., CDF Trust Ltd., Energy China Ltd., and the Intensive Energy Users Group.
The project would power mining operations in the country and also help Zimbabwe reduce its carbon emissions.
The main benefit of floating solar is that it doesn’t take up valuable space on land – meaning that it can be used for other purposes, such as farming or construction.
Zimbabwe is facing acute electricity shortages that have resulted in blackouts lasting 18 hours a day for millions of citizens.
The power cuts are being caused by low water levels that have reduced generation from a hydropower plant on Lake Kariba as well as frequent breakdowns at the Hwange Thermal Power Station.
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