Solar plant announced to help free eSwatini from Eskom

eSwatini is forging ahead to ditch Eskom as a power supplier with the news that it’s planning to generate 40 megawatts of power through a solar plant.

The news comes on the back of the commissioning of a 10-megawatt solar plant in the southern part of the country this month.

In addition, the government of the country many still call Swaziland announced recently that plans were under way to expand the hydro-electric capacity of the Maguga Dam on the outskirts of the capital, Mbabane, with another 20 megawatts.

The solar facility in the south will reduce eSwatini’s dependence on Eskom, which currently feeds 80% of the country’s power into its grid, and infrastructural upgrades to Maguga will significantly add to this reduction.

But it is the new 40-megawatt solar plant that the kingdom believes will finally help it to generate power free from Eskom, a government strategy that has identified 2034 as the year it wants to be completely energy self-sufficient.

Communications and consumer affairs manager at the eSwatini Energy Regulator Authority, Sikhumbuzo Nkambule, said that apart from significantly boosting the country’s electricity capacity, it is also expected to create much-needed jobs and stimulate foreign investment.

Tender bids for the solar plant’s construction will close on August 23.

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