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Nust to generate own electricity

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THE National University of Science and Technology (Nust) Technopark’s solar power project has been endorsed in principle and is expected to generate 0,5 megawatts (MW) to power the institution before expanding to feed into the national grid in the long run.

NQOBILE BHEBHE
CHIEF REPORTER

According to Nust vice-chancellor Lindela Ndlovu’s 2013 annual report released on Tuesday, the power plant would be built at the university’s campus along Gwanda Road and an expression of interest had already been sent to potential funders.

“The Technopark has completed a business plan for a 0,5MW solar power demonstration plant to be built at Nust.

“The business plan of the project proposal was presented to the compass development committee (CDC) on the 18th of February 2014 and the CDC endorsed the project in principle,” reads part of the technopark department report.

“The demonstration plant will provide all of Nust’s electricity needs during daytime and in turn earn revenue from electricity off-take agreement between the project and the university.

“Technopark plans to expand the project and create more capacity to shore up national power supplies.

“It is hoped that this business model could be extended to external large-scale consumers of electricity and generate the revenues for expansion to meet a portion of the national electricity deficit.”

The technopark unit conducts outreach activities as a way of building bridges and partnerships with industrial and commercial organisations in the country.

One of its major objectives is to be a catalyst for the economic and social advancement of Zimbabwean society by stimulating economic growth and modernisation.

The government has in recent months outlined several solar projects countrywide which are yet to take off.

Zimbabweans have been subjected to load-shedding for years as power utility Zesa Holdings battles to raise sufficient capital to invest and build new power stations to generate enough electricity.

Economists say this negatively affects industry as most companies have cut their operating hours. The intermittent power cuts have affected plant and machinery, some of which needs continuous power supplies.

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