President of Zambia, Edgar Lungu has commissioned 54 megawatts solar power plant, which is said to be the South African country's largest renewable energy project constructed at a cost of USD 60 million. This also represents Zambia's first utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) farm.
Zambia's Head of State, Edgar Lungu opined that there is an urgent need to increase electricity generation and that the area of renewable energy gives the country greater hope, adding that increased power generation using alternative sources of energy will attract investments to all parts of the country.
Speaking when he commissioned a solar photo-voltaic plant in Zambia's capital city Lusaka, a joint venture between Neon of France and the state-run Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Edgar Lungu said the record-low tariffs achieved for the project is a clear demonstration of efforts aimed at improving affordable electrification rates, one of the hindrances to the growth of the energy sector.
He further said the commissioning of the project is the culmination of a directive he made in 2015 when the country was experienced severe energy shortage due to over-dependence on hydroelectric power.
The USD 56 million solar power plant is expected to generate about 54 megawatts of electricity. The project, Lungu said, will uplift the welfare of people and enhance productivity of businesses as electricity from the plant will power nearly 30,000 households across the country, as reported by Xinhua.
He commended the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank for the technical and financial support for the project. Lungu directed the IDC to accelerate all other renewable energy projects that are in the pipeline to increase access to energy. Ina Marlene-Ruthenberg, World Bank country representative, said the project will enable the Zambian government to save about 40 million dollars over the 25 years of the concession.