The Zambezi River Authority, a corporation jointly owned by the Governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe responsible for the environmental management of the Zambezi River, has announced that it will consider using floating solar panels at the Kariba Dam.
The aim is to supplement over 2,100 MW of hydropower capacity following deepening power outages in the two countries as a result of plummeting water levels.
Also read: Zimbabweans to pay tax for operating generators above 5kVA
According to the Zambezi River Authority CEO, Munyaradzi Munodawafa, a similar proposal is being considered for the proposed 2,400 MW Bakota Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station, which will also be situated on the Zambezi River.
“There are lots of areas that can provide solar,” Munodawafa stated, adding, “Right now, everyone sees a lot of rain, but on the ground the lower catchment that was supposed to give us more water did not. That’s climate change.”
Due to a prolonged drought that has cut output from Kariba Dam, with water levels falling to less than 1% at the beginning of the year, the installation of photovoltaic capacity to the world’s largest man-made lake will take advantage of the country’s abundant solar resources while providing renewable energy to the region.
Also read: African Sun set to leave Zimbabwe Stock Exchange
According to Munodawafa, the final decision on the use of floating solar panels at the Kariba Dam by the Zambezi River Authority has yet to be made and will be subject to the cost of the project.