BPC embarks on green energy projects
In a bid to improve supply and reduce its carbon footprint, Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) is undertaking green energy projects.
This was confirmed by the Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), David Kgoboko during a media briefing this week.
Kgoboko says BPC intends to play a facilitation role on Independent Power Producers (IPP) projects such as two 500 Megawatts (MW) stations to be built in Selebi Phikwe and Jwaneng.
Kgoboko, who was appointed to lead BPC last month, further revealed 12 grid-tied solar projects are also in the pipeline.
“Furthermore, we are exploring the possibility of using gas at our Orapa 90MW station,” added the CEO.
In January, IPP Tlou Energy announced it had signed a pilot Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with BPC for the 2MW of power from Tlou’s Lesedi Project.
The agreement enables the injection of power into the BPC grid, as well as facilitating the development of the power project and the sale of first power.
Tlou, which is listed on the Botswana Exchange (BSE), focuses on delivering cleaner electricity in Botswana and Southern Africa using gas and solar power.
Its first proposed development is the Lesedi Power Project, which the company aims to make a carbon-neutral plant.
Meanwhile, responding to the recent power cuts experienced across the country, Kgoboko admitted BPC has ‘significant challenges that need to be addressed urgently.
“We have a very unstable distribution network hence the recent recurring power outages induced by the rains,” said Kgoboko.
He also listed a rapid growth in demand experienced in recent years, aging infrastructure (both poles and switchgear), and maintenance backlog as contributing factors to the problem.
“To address this, the Corporation has embarked on a phased distribution refurbishment programme that should see this situation being turned around by end of this year.”
According to Kgoboko, the refurbishments have started with several projects, including dedicated transmission bulk supply substations for Mochudi, Tlokweng, and Ramotswa.
Currently, these villages are supplied through distribution lines from Mogoditshane and Broadhurst, whose capacity has reportedly been exceeded.
The corporation is also investing in Smart Grid, which Kgoboko believes will improve customer service regarding efficient fault detection and supply restoration.
The Smart Grid is expected to provide remote crediting of meters on the purchase of prepaid electricity.