Solar farm to minimise power cuts in Zimbabwe

11 Nov 2020

A 1.9-megawatt solar farm and battery storage facility in Zimbabwe is being planned by Nhimbe Fresh. Once complete, the renewable sources will help businesses avoid electricity shortages. Zimbabwe’s firms have struggled due to a number of frequent power cuts, with some parts of the country experiencing power cuts of 18 hours earlier this year.
Nhimbe Fresh's Chairman, Edwin Moyo said, "The power outages have a major impact on our production and processing, reducing our capacity to 60%. We have backup diesel generators for the packhouses and irrigation, but they're too expensive to run.”
The firm is one of Zimbabwe’s biggest fruit and tobacco producers and has teamed with for this project with South African renewable energy start-up Sun Exchange. 
Crowd-sales for phase 1 of the three-stage project are soon be launched, Sun Exchange stated. It added on saying that solar cells will be leased to Nhimbe at a "U.S. dollar-pegged fixed price". 
Having seen an increase in fresh produce sales to Europe and the Middle East in 2019, reaching $112 million, Zimbabwe’s agricultural exports continued to grow. 
The demand for fresh produce and tobacco has pressured authorities to take action in helping exporters to find alternatives, amid the current pandemic and frequent power cuts.