BCC will transform a cemetery into a solar farm
Bulawayo City Council is working to establish solar farms within their water pumping stations, which will help address the problem of power outages that have forced local authorities to introduce a water shedding program 72 hours.
Last week, the local authority increased its water shedding program from 48 hours per week to 72 hours, as power outages continued to affect water pumping in the city. According to City Clerk, Mr. Christopher Dube, the power outages resulted in reduced abstraction and subsequent pumping.
Speaking to Sunday News, the mayor, Councilor Solomon Mguni, said the council has submitted a number of solar power generation projects to the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (Zida) which will resolve the problem of power failure in the city. He said the goal was for solar farms to power the national grid as well.
âWhen we took office, if you remember, we advertised those who had free funds to undertake solar power generation projects in and around the city. We reserved some of them at our water treatment sites. The expressions of interest have shown that we have had an overwhelming response.
We have forwarded these investments to the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency for approval in accordance with the investment standard for projects of this magnitude, so we are still awaiting confirmation that these projects pass the test in terms of requirements. for this type of investment, âsaid Clr Mguni.
He said that if the city could get approval for a few of the projects, it would be able to generate electricity in Bulawayo, which would allow it to consume some of that electricity which will be produced and also fed into the national network.
Clr Mguni further bemoaned the city’s high levels of daily water consumption, noting that this also contributes to the supply strain in the city.
âConsumption has also been high lately due to the high temperatures, the heat that we are facing. Where we are supposed to consume an average of 140 megaliters per day, consumption reaches between 160 and 180 megaliters per day, which is quite difficult to contain and manage.
“In addition, the Tuli watershed, whose reservoir supplies most of the eastern suburbs, poses a lot of problems for us in terms of the balance of the rate of consumption. We suspect that people do a lot of agricultural activities at home,” did he declare.
Meanwhile, the local authority has submitted a partnership proposal to Zida which will see the construction of a solar power plant at the Pelandaba cemetery.
The project was also presented to delegates at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, earlier this month as a profitable and innovative project by a public sector partner, with win-win benefits for the private sector, residents and l ‘environment.
According to a confidential council report, the project will be carried out by the local authority with Scottish company Chitendai Limited.
âManagement had since received an expression of interest from Chitendai Limited to develop and build a solar power plant at Pelandaba cemetery in Bulawayo town, with the aim of providing clean, reliable and more affordable electricity to utility companies. regional audiences.
The project will create jobs and improve the economy of Bulawayo. If assigned the area, Chitendai Limited will undertake feasibility studies at its own expense.
They were also aware and recognized that if the results of the feasibility study showed that the site was not suitable for solar installations, their costs were sunk, âthe report reads.
The local authority noted that if successful, the initiative would invite other project investors to participate in similar projects and attract a lot of global attention to the city.