Old Mutual to install solar power plant at its Harare headquarters

ZIMBABWE – Old Mutual Life Assurance Company Zimbabwe, the subsidiary of the insurance company Old Mutual, is planning to install a 648 kWp solar power plant at its headquarters in Harare.

The solar photovoltaic system will be connected to the Zimbabwean national electricity grid.

Faced with load shedding in Zimbabwe, many companies are turning to self-consumption and this is the case of Old Mutual Life Assurance Company Zimbabwe.

The insurance company wants to equip its Emerald Hill headquarters in Harare with a 648 kWp solar power plant.

Old Mutual has already submitted the project for approval to the state regulatory authority, the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) and the insurance company wants to sell its surplus production to the state-owned Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC).

This will require the construction of a 2.4 km transmission line to connect the solar plant to the 33/11 kV Dorset substation.

The insurance company also has the option of building a 10-kilometer line to the 132/33/11kV Pomona substation.

Like Old Mutual, many companies are opting for self-consumption solar to meet their electricity needs in Zimbabwe.

Just this July 2021, Total Zimbabwe, the subsidiary of the French oil company Total Energies decided to solarise 50% of its service stations in the coming years an initiative that has a triple objective of reducing the dependence of its facilities on the ZETDC grid, to limit the use of diesel generators, and to reduce the carbon footprint of the service stations.

Total Energies signed the partnership with Distributed Power Africa (DPA), the subsidiary of the Zimbabwean group Econet Global, to install solar photovoltaic systems in 15 of its service stations in Zimbabwe.

The company estimates that the adoption of solar photovoltaic energy will enable its service stations to reduce their dependence on the national electricity grid and diesel generators by 30%.

It will also enable the petroleum distributor to reduce its electricity bills.

Total Energies will invest US$4 million to achieve this.

In Zimbabwe, the oil company has 101 service stations that currently operate on grid electricity or diesel generators and this project is part of Total Energies’ wider ambition around the world.

The Paris-based group wants to equip 5,000 of its service stations with solar photovoltaic systems in 57 countries, most of them in Africa.

These installations will have a cumulative capacity of 200 MWp, for a total investment of US$300 million.

Since November 2019, soft drink manufacturer Schweppes Africa Holdings has had a solar power plant to power its factory in the capital Harare.
The plant, which consists of 2,446 solar panels and has a capacity of 1 MW, was built by Distributed Power Africa (DPA).

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