The Sable Solar Park Project is being developed on land owned by Sable Chemical Industries Ltd (‘Sable
Chemicals’). The project site, which is adjacent to Sable Chemicals’ fertilizer production facility at
Sherwood, 20 km outside the city of Kwekwe, on the Harare to Bulawayo highway, comprises approximately
800 ha of industrial land forming part of Sable Chemicals’ larger estate.
The site benefits from high levels of solar irradiation (GHI of c. 2,140 kWh/m²/annum), as well as access to existing basic site infrastructure (i.e., water, access roads, etc.). It is also approximately 5 km from the Sherwood substation and close enough to Sable Chemicals’ existing facilities to benefit from shared services such as use of railway sidings, treated water, canteens and fire-fighting services.
Sable Solar Park is expected to be Zimbabwe’s largest grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) plant when it comes online. At completion the 400 Megawatt (MW) of electricity generated by the park will account for approximately 10% of the country’s projected medium term energy generation capacity. The energy from the park will supply electricity to the state-owned utility company, ZETDC, and will provide enough energy to power over 250,000 households in Zimbabwe.
The park is being developed in 50MW phases and its first phase has been licensed and is currently being developed by Tatanga Energy through the Sable Solar Energy SPV.
A solar PV park can be described as a concentrated zone for multiple solar power generation projects. Utilizing common infrastructure and technical studies, projects located in a solar pv park can reduce the development lead time and cost of developing projects. The Park will assist in the rapid deployment of solar plants by providing a serviced site and streamlined permitting/licensing processes to assist investors to establish their projects on the site. Key attributes of a solar pv park are:
There are multiple benefits that can derived from the development of a solar pv project. Benefits include:
The often- substantial monetary savings of co-locating projects in a solar PV park are passed on to consumers in the form of lower tariffs.
The park will provide solar pv projects with the following basic infrastructure:
The concept of shared services can be defined as an operational concept whereby services and
functions that were once performed across separate entities are centralized. In the case of
renewable energy these services may include the provision of security, canteen, health facilities
and weather monitoring services.
The utilization of shared services will enable developers to enjoy significant cost savings by standardizing practices and procedures and by creating economies of scale.