Swiss climate fund provides financing for Botswana's first solar power plants

Zurich-based responsAbility Investments AG, which specializes in investments in emerging economies, has provided unspecified »long-term debt financing« for the first two grid-connected solar power plants in Botswana through one of its funds.
The two projects - Bobonong Solar Project with three megawatts and Shakawe Solar Project with one megawatt - will be built by South African company Sturdee Energy Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd. The contracts for a corresponding tender were awarded in 2019, but it was not until July 2021 that Sturdee Energy was able to conclude a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for the two plants with the state-owned Botswana Power Corporation (BPC). Construction of Bobonong began in March this year (photo). Both plants are now scheduled to be connected to the grid before the end of this year, and Sturdee Energy will then also be responsible for their operation.
Botswana is pursuing large-scale plans for photovoltaic expansion together with neighboring Namibia, but so far without any practical results. Since 2019, negotiations and studies have been underway on a project for five gigawatts of solar capacity in the border region of the two countries, which since 2021 is also supported by the USA, the World Bank and the African Development Bank.

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