Major new power line to help make Namibia a wind and solar powerhouse

Namibia wind and solar
Namibia is almost entirely covered by a windswept desert plateau – ideal for wind and solar generation (Hp Baumeler/CC BY-SA 4.0)

A consortium led by the World Bank has agreed to lend $139m to Namibia to prepare its electricity grid for a surge in renewable power generation, Afrik 21 reports.

State-owned utility NamPower will use the money to build a 400kV transmission line running 458km between substations in central Namibia to the southern town of Kokerboom.

It will help the grid accommodate a rise in renewable generation beyond the current 690MW, or 30% of the country’s total energy mix.

Namibia is almost entirely covered by a windswept desert plateau, making it ideal for wind and solar generation.

Its wind-power potential is estimated to be more than 100GW, equivalent to almost two-thirds of the installed capacity of the African continent.

It also has 10 hours of sunshine a day for 300 days a year, making it a solar powerhouse.

The new line will also help export power to South Africa.

As a subsidiary project, NamPower will install a 25MW battery storage system. This storage infrastructure should help NamPower to improve reliability.

The project is expected to break ground in 2025 and enter service in 2028.

The finance will come from the World Bank, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Fund for Innovative Solutions in Global Public Goods, and the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

This and other transmission line projects will extend the network by 800km.

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