ErongoRED to save millions with new solar powerplant

A milestone for the regional electricity distributor Erongo RED: Yesterday the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of a three Megawatt (MW) solar energy power plant at Arandis took place – the plant is expected to be in operation by June 2017.

The new solar power plant is being built by OLC Arandis Solar Energy, a Joint Venture between O&L Energy (a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List Group), its strategic partner Cronimet Mining Power Solutions GmbH and the Women of Destiny Trust. The plant will consist of over 10 000 poly-crystalline photovoltaic (PV) panels.
“The sooner we get to a place where we are no longer dependent on other suppliers beyond our borders, the faster we will be able to take complete control of where we are headed. This 3 Megawatt solar power plant is a big step in that direction. I look forward to even brighter days and a future embraced with even more innovations,” said Erongo Governor Cleophas Mutjavikua during the ceremony. He added that this type of innovation is the key to the future of this country’s economy.
According to ErongoRed Chairperson Tobias Nambala this development means a lot for ErongoRed and the region at large. “This plant is expected to save ErongoRED an estimated cost of N$127 million over the life span of the plant, which is 25 years. This is a significant saving for Erongo RED,” he said. He added that this forms part of the company’s proactive efforts to address continuous electricity cost increases and cushioning the impact thereof to its customers. “At Erongo RED we are committed to diversify our energy mix in order to ensure that the electricity consumers reap benefits emanating from renewable energy.”
During the event O&L Group Executive Chairman, Sven Thieme, highlighted on various projects so far embarked on by O&L in its quest to adopt and adjust to renewable energy. Amongst others he mentioned NBL’s investment of N$53 million into a Biomass boiler to reduce reliance on HFO. “Our aim is to contribute to improving Namibia’s energy situation and to increase the supply of renewable energy generated locally, decreasing our dependency on electricity imports from neighbouring countries,” he said.
CRONIMET and its local subsidiaries will mount over ten thousand poly-crystalline photovoltaic (PV) panels to a horizontal single axis tracking system for a total capacity of 3.843 MW. The Arandis PV power plant will produce over 9 000 MW hours of emission free electricity for Erongo RED per year. It will be connected to ErongoRed’s transmission station and will supply the coastal region with 25 years of electricity generated from the sun.

All smiles during yesterday’s ground-breaking ceremony: Bernd Walbaum CEO: O&L Energy, Cynthia Martin: Trustee of Women of Destiny Trust, Mayor of Arandis: Risto Kapendah, Executive Chairman of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group of Companies: Sven Thieme, Governor of the Erongo Region: Hon Cleophas Mutjavikua, Chairman of ErongoRed: Tobias Nambala and Managing Director of Cronimet: Steffen Kammerer.

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