CPV Intelligence Brief 11 - 24 June, 2014

Usib CPV demo plant inaugurated by Namibian Minister of Mines and Energy

Located near Rehoboth, 80 km south of Windhoek in central Namibia, the Usib concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) demonstration plant was officially inaugurated by Honourable Isak Katali, Namibian Minister of Mines and Energy.

The 26 kWp CPV plant, which consists of 2 CPV systems, results from a cooperative agreement between the French company Soitec, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of CPV modules, and NamPower, the national power utility of Namibia. The plant generates solar electricity which powers Usib Primary School and a water pump which irrigates the community garden.

Under the terms of the cooperative agreement, NamPower selected the site for  the plant, liaised with the relevant stakeholders and, as of July 2015, will operate and maintain the CPV systems for a period of 18 years, while Soitec constructed and currently operates the plant, before transferring the knowledge, operations and maintenance to NamPower.

In his speech, Namibia’s Minister of Mines and Energy, Isak Katali highlighted this project as a concrete example of “renewable energy in practice”. He said: “it is clear through projects such as this that plenty of opportunities exist for small-scale renewable energy projects. Namibia has a huge potential of renewable energy resources, with a direct solar radiation of about 3000kWh/square meters per annum in some areas of Namibia being one of the best in the world, and thus offering opportunities for households not connected to the national electricity grid."

The Managing Director of NamPower, Paulinus Shilamba highlighted the fact that NamPower has done a lot in the past few years in terms of promoting the use of renewable sources of energy and said that the company will continue to do so to make sure that the share of renewable energy resources in the Namibian energy mix is increased to optimal levels.