Namibia harnesses renewable energy
Omaruru – Mines and Energy Minister, Isak Katali, has said the Namibian government is committed to the implementation of the provision of solar power and encourages the use of renewable energy, as an alternative to coal electricity.
The Omburu Solar Power Plant in the Erongo region will improve the supply of electricity not only in the region but Namibia as a whole, said the minister during the official ground-breaking ceremony of the 4.5 MW plant at Omburu near Omaruru on November 14.
“This historic solar project will improve the supply of electricity to the country and not only to the Erongo region. It represents an important milestone in the development of the energy infrastructure in Namibia as a whole,” he said.
“As a government, some of our aims and objectives with regards to energy include: improving the level of innovation with technology, the supply of electricity and especially the security of supply and in turn self-sustainability of energy supply.
“This power plant which is to be Namibia’s first and largest utility-scale ground mounted photovoltaic power plant, achieves some of those objectives as it will feed into the national grid system for 25 years.”
The Omburu Solar Power Plant that will be constructed at the cost of R120 million makes it the country’s biggest solar power project.
It is developed by French company InnoSun Energy Holdings (Pty) Ltd, and owners of Omburu Sun Energy (Pty) Ltd – an independent power producer.
The 4.5-megawatt plant will produce about 11 025 megawatts hours of clean and reliable electricity per year.
This plant will feed carbon-free electricity into NamPower’s national power grid system, replacing 5 537 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. The renewable energy power plant will supply over 1 percent of Namibia’s global domestic power generation.
InnoSun Chief Executive Officer, Grégoire Verhaeghe, said his company “foresees many more projects in the near future which will supply more energy capacity thus enabling Namibia to become a self-sustaining country”.
He added that: “The renewable energy power plant will supply over 1 percent of Namibia’s domestic power generation. It will also supply carbon free electricity once it has been officially handed over to the national power supplier, NamPower in early 2015.”
Minister Katali also praised InnoSun for its ambition to reduce harmful emission by producing renewable energy, which is to the benefit of the country’s environment, with renewable energy.
The ground-breaking was also attended French Ambassador to Namibia, Mme Jacqueline Bassa-Mazzoni, Ben Amathila, chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Economics, Natural Resources and Public Administration and NamPower Managing Director Paulinus Shilamba.