China Proposes 1GW Floating Solar PV Project on Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe

  • Bloomberg reports that the state owned China Energy Engineering Corp (GEEC) has proposed building a 1000MW  floating solar plant on Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe.
  • The GEEC Kariba proposal was prepared for Zimbabwe Power, CDF Trust, Energy China, and the Intensive Energy Users Group, which comprises mining companies and other big electricity consumers.

The mega project, expected to cost US$ 1 billion, will be the largest floating solar project in Africa if it goes ahead. It would cover an area of over 2,500 hectares and could generate power for as many as two million homes.

NASA reports that in 2022, the water level at Lake Kariba—the world’s largest reservoir and a major source of electricity in Zimbabwe and Zambia—dropped sharply. Gauges on the ground showed the water level hitting a record low on December 30, 2022. The lack of water limited electricity generation at two primary power stations, worsening rolling blackouts in both countries. Read more

A floating solar park may reduce the evaporation factor and promote higher water retention.

CEEC has also signed a memorandum of cooperation for a green hydrogen project with the local government and businesses in Egypt, marking CEEC’s hydrogen business first step to go global in the hydrogen sector. Planned to be developed in two phases, the green project includes a solar- and wind-powered power plant, water electrolysis hydrogen generators and ammonia synthesis devices, and the supporting storage & processing facilities. Upon completion, it will churn out 140,000 tons of green hydrogen per year.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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