The construction of 22 solar-powered tollgates in Zimbabwe continues to advance, with completion targeted for the first quarter of 2014.
The solar power initiative, which fell within the country’s plan to upgrade its road transport services as part of an overall infrastructure improvement programme, would involve the installation of 750 kWp of solar power, with each rooftop installation at each tollgate powered by a 34 kWp solar system, inverter technology, a 3200 Ah battery bank and a 50 kVA back-up generator.
Gregor Küpper, who heads up solar systems manufacturer SolarWorld Africa, the supplier of the solar tollgate systems, said in a statement that installation at each site took seven days to install and was, thereafter, monitored through the global system for mobile communications network.
“We believe that the use of solar power systems could help alleviate the power instability that has affected people’s quality of life, business and industrial development. An efficient and viable power sector will assist economic stability and growth, given its linkages with the rest of the economy and within the Southern African Development Community – which will have a direct bearing on national income,” he commented.
Zimbabwe sourced its domestic electricity from coal, hydropower and thermal power plants, which supplied about 1.2 GW of electricity a year.
Additional power was imported from Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.