Four new solar and thermal power plants are planned for construction by the government of Botswana within the next six years. The new facilities will bring into the Southern Africa country energy mix a combined capacity of approximately 610 MW. This plan is a part of the government’s energy policy and it will enable Botswana to fully satisfy its demand for electricity while diversifying its sources of production.
As of now, the country has a national demand of 600 MW, but recurring breakdowns at one of its main power stations, the Morupule B plant has left the country dependent on imported power and diesel generators to cover the shortfalls.
Affirmation of the execution of the Solar and thermal power plants plan
The country’s Minister of Energy, Lefoko Moagi has explained that the government will launch a call for tenders at the beginning of next year for the establishment of a 200 MW solar power plant, which should be completed by 2026. He also said that the construction of a 10 MW coal-fired power station will also be launched during the same year and will be completed in 2025.
Under a 20-year resource plan approved in August, procurement is also underway for a 100 MW solar photovoltaic plant that will come online in 2022 and a 300 MW coal plant expected to be operational by 2026.
Inclusion of private investors into the power diversification plan
The Botswana government is looking to incorporate a number of private investors at various stages of setting up coal, gas, and solar power projects, while retaining the power distribution prerogative to the state-owned Botswana Power Corporation (BPC).
In June, it gave out licenses to three private companies to generate a total of about 827 MW of their electricity, most of which it plans to export to neighbouring states.