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Compiled Sanet van Zijl
A new solar power station will be constructed in Namibia soon and it is estimated to be completed and running by the end of this year. The new station will charge 88,8 cent per kWh, which will be the cheapest photovoltaic solar energy available in Namibia at present.
The Ministry of Mines and Energy awarded the tender for the 35 megawatt photovoltaic energy station close to Mariental to Alten Renewable Hardap. The goal is to have the station up and running by the end of this year.
The independent electricity producer consortium, Alten Renewable Hardap, is a co-owner of the Spanish company Alten Renewables B.V and Sashi.
The target date for when the station needs to be ready for commercial use is 7 December 2016. The station will be financed by shareholders, as well as money loaned by local and regional loaners.
The Ministry of Mines and Energy made a bid in 2014 for the construction, operation and possession of the photovoltaic solar power stations in the country and on Monday, 7 December 2015, it was awarded to Alten Renewable Hardap.
This took place after 50 prospective independent energy producers received approval in 2013, after NamPower published an invitation to tenders on behalf of the government.
Through this process the government received information from interested electricity producers for the development of three solar energy stations that need to be constructed in the Erongo, Otjozondjupa and Hardap regions. Prerequisites were that Namibians had to be part of the project by means of ownership, sub-contracting and job opportunities. Only 9 of the interested electricity producers could meet the criteria.
NamPower received the necessary clearance certificates in October 2014 from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism after an environmental impact study was performed. Short thereafter 8 of the approved bidders confirmed that they accept that the project includes no implementation agreement or any other form of assistance from the government.
The tender documents were released on 11 May 2015, where after a mandatory conference was held for the bidders. By the closing date for the tender on 1 October 2015, six independent electricity producers submitted tenders foe all three of the stations.
All of them met the requirements and they were then considered according to their financial proposals.
After the closing of the tender the Omburu and Oshana areas were no longer available for the construction of the solar power stations and the decision was made to construct the stations at Hardap.