On Thursday 2 July at 11h in the Offices of CENORED in Otjiwarongo history was made when HopSol Power Generation (Pty) Ltd and CENORED signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for HopSol Otjiwarongo Solar Photovoltaic Power Park. The historic significance of this PPA is that it is the first between a Regional Electricity Distributor and a independent power producer (IPP) for a utility scale solar power plant in Namibia and as such will usher a new and exciting era of liberalization in the Namibian electricity market as envisaged in the Energy Policy White Paper. Prior to this historic event the Namibian electricity market was a vertically integrated monopoly market, with NamPower generating, transmitting and bulk supplier to local authorities and the 3 Regional Distribution companies.
HopSol Power Generation (Pty) Ltd will own, operate and maintain the solar plant and CENORED will be the off-taker of the electricity produced. The plant will produce about 13 500 000 kWh of electricity per year, which is enough to supply about 2.500 residential houses with electricity. The overall capital investment is about N$120 000 000, which was financed largely by HopSol (33%) and Bank Windhoek (66%).
HopSol Power Generation (Pty) Ltd is a company incorporated in terms of the Laws of Namibia, owned by Namibians with a 30% BEE Shareholder, which is a group of three Namibian businesswomen. The director of the BEE Shareholders, Mrs Anna Kawana, was present at the event.
HopSol has obtained all relevant licences (Generation Licence from the ECB, Power Purchase Agreement with CENORED, Site Permit, Environmental Clearance and land lease agreement with the Otjiwarongo Municipality). Construction is underway and the Solar Power Plant will start supplying electricity to CENORED in November 2015. Up to 100 local people will work in the next months on site. About 20-25 long- term jobs will be created for local Namibians in carrying through operation and maintenance of the solar plant.
The solar power plant is made up with about 35.000 pieces of High Performance CIGS Thinfilm Solar Panels from supplier TSMC. These CIGS Thinfilm Solar Panels from TSMC are ideal for the extreme climatic conditions here in Namibia. They outperform other technologies by up to 15% higher yields! The Solar Panels will follow the sun by using a high-tech Horizontal Single Axis Tracker. The inverters which transform the DC current of the solar panels to AC current are supplied by German world market leader SMA. The plant will cover an area of 20 hectares of land that is leased from the Otjiwarongo Municipality (a shareholder in CENORED).
HopSol shares CENORED vision that solar energy is the wave of the future for meeting Namibia growing electricity requirements. Namibia is endowed with some of the best solar irradiation conditions in the whole world and this God-given resources must be used to its fullest potential. CENORED believes that there can be no meaningful socio-economic development without electricity, and in the CENORED license area our commitment to solar power is unrivalled.