The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube, Online News Editor
BULAWAYO’S Revenue Hall is set to go 100 percent solar powered as the local authority ups its drive towards alternative energy at most of its facilities.
This comes in the wake of reports that the local authority is looking at having its water treatment stations being powered by solar energy as power outages have seen the city fail to reliably supply water which has resulted in the reintroducing of a 72-hour water shedding schedule.
Responding to written questions, Bulawayo City Council corporate communications manager Mrs Nesisa Mpofu said the revenue hall project was being done under a loan facility from the African Development Bank. She said while council had initially aimed to have completed the project by 31 December, a number of complications would now see the project being completed by early next year.
“The solarisation project is being set up as a backup power source of the City of Bulawayo Customer Relationship Management System.
The project is being done under the African Development Bank funded Bulawayo Water and Sewerage Services Improvement project which involves the supply, installation and commission of an Off-Grid Solar Power Plant at the City of Bulawayo Revenue Hall at a cost of US$155 876. The initial completion date was 31 December 2021, however, there is a possibility of a delay in completion due to a number of aspects which include the fact that some of the components are imported and some such as batteries have to be manufactured as per order,” said Mrs Mpofu.
She said the other challenge was the border clearance delays being experienced of late. Last week, the city’s mayor, Councillor Solomon Mguni revealed that the local authority was working on establishing solar farms within its water pumping stations which will help solve the problem of power outages which have forced the local authority to introduce a 72-hour water shedding schedule.
Clr Mguni said council had since submitted a number of solar generation projects to the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (Zida) which will see the power outage problem being resolved in the city. He said their aim was to have the solar farms also feeding into the national grid.
The local authority also recently submitted a partnership proposal, with a Scottish company, Chitendai Limited, to Zida that will see a solar plant being constructed at the Pelandaba cemetery. The project was also presented to delegates at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland early this month as a profitable and innovative project by a public sector partner, with win-win benefits for the private sector, residents and the environment.