Windhoek – Botswana and Namibia have secured the support of the United States government and several multilateral financial institutions for construction of a 5,000MW solar power plant.
US President Joe Biden revealed his government was backing the project at a global leader’s summit on climate change last week.
The plant is being built by American firm Mega Solar, and it will be a joint venture between the governments of Botswana and Namibia, with support from several financial institutions.
Besides bringing 5,000MW of new energy onto the grid, the solar plant will also result in a cut of harmful carbon dioxide emissions by 6.5 million tonnes annually – the equivalent of taking almost 1.5 million cars off the roads.
United States Ambassador to Namibia Lisa Johnson this week said, “I am very excited that Namibia, Botswana, the United States, the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation and the African Development Bank have taken important steps forward together on the Mega Solar Project,” Ambassador Johnson said. “Mega Solar will directly advance a goal set forth in His Excellency President Geingob’s Harambee Prosperity Plan II for Namibia by achieving a secure and cost-effective energy supply.”
She also said, “When fully realised, Mega Solar could be one of the largest solar parks in the world, generating 3,000-5,000 megawatts of energy. This could transform Namibia and Botswana into two of the globe’s most significant producers of solar power, enough to begin exporting renewable energy to the southern Africa region. Beyond the economic potential, Mega Solar will help decarbonise Southern Africa and will make a significant contribution to global efforts on climate change.”