ZESCO and GreenCo Execute System Operations Agreement (SOA): Fostering a New Era for Open Access Electricity in Zambia

7th Nov 2023

The release was originally issued on 6th November 2023 and can be found on Africa GreenCo’s website here.

Lusaka, Zambia – Africa GreenCo Group, through its Zambian-based operating company GreenCo Power Services Limited (together GreenCo), is thrilled to announce the successful execution of a System Operations Agreement (SOA) with the Zambian National Power Utility, ZESCO Limited. The SOA was officially signed by the ZESCO Managing Director, Engineer Victor Benjamin Mapani and the CEO of GreenCo, Ms. Ana Hajduka on 6th October 2023. This milestone SOA defines the operational parameters for GreenCo’s supply of electricity from the 25MW Ilute Solar PV plant to be constructed in Western Province of Zambia into ZESCO’s power grid system and subsequently sold into the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP).

The collaboration between ZESCO and GreenCo on this groundbreaking project further demonstrates the viability of an open access regime in the Zambian Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) in line with the legislative amendments of 2019. Situated in Sesheke District of Western Province, the 25MW Ilute Solar Power Project shall be the first of its kind in Africa, using the competitive markets of the SAPP to mitigate customer default risk by leveraging the diversified customer base in contrast with the traditional practice of transferring project risk to the national treasury. ZESCO will be compensated by GreenCo for providing system operations services. The Ilute Solar project is being developed by a consortium comprising Western Solar Power, a Zambian developer and Serengeti Energy.

This significant achievement harmoniously aligns with the objective articulated by His Excellency, President Hakainde Hichilema, during his inaugural speech at the opening of the National Assembly, where he emphasized the government’s dedication to promoting competition and non-discriminatory access to electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure.

President Hichilema reiterated, “To promote competition and allow for non-discriminatory access to electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure by the private sector, the government is in the process of implementing an open access regime. Private sector players will be able to wheel power to their customers and will also help remove ZESCO from entering into unsustainable power purchase agreements.”

During his speech, President Hichilema also commended ZESCO for hastening the execution process of power purchase agreements with independent power producers since 2021, a catalytic enabler to attracting private and public investment in the Zambian electricity supply industry.

ZESCO’s Managing Director, Engineer Victor Benjamin Mapani welcomed the execution of the SOA and stated that: “ZESCO is determined to allow for more private participants onto the Electricity Supply Industry in an amenable manner because Zambia is open for business.”

The execution of the SOA signifies a ground-breaking development for the nation’s energy landscape and highlights Zambia’s commitment to fostering a competitive, equitable and sustainable power sector.

CEO of GreenCo, Ms. Ana Hajduka expressed gratitude to ZESCO and the Government of the Republic of Zambia for its continued support of GreenCo’s business stating that: “The successful execution of the System Operations Agreement with ZESCO is a significant milestone on the road to implementing a ground-breaking project. More importantly, it contributes to the development of a market framework that facilitates greater private investment and operational integration with the national utility in a synergistic manner and bodes well for the future-readiness of Zambia’s electricity sector.”

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