By Staff Reporter
Keetmanshoop, March 17 — Namibian-owned energy and property development company, Ikhaya Somandla, has signed a 30-year land lease agreement with the !Gawachab Conservancy in the //Kharas region for a billion-dollar renewable energy project. The planned solar plant will be built on 2,500 hectares of land at Klein Karas Farm and is expected to supply 1,625 megawatts of electricity to the national grid and the Southern African Power Pool.
The project is being funded by Angolan investors and the European Investment Bank in Lisbon and is aimed at benefiting future generations. The solar park will create employment opportunities and empower local residents by sourcing 25% of all goods, materials and services locally, and emphasizing skills transfer.
Construction of the plant is scheduled to begin in 2026, while an environmental impact assessment will commence soon after the signing of the land lease agreement. Once operational, the plant will share access power with the national grid and the Southern African Power Pool, provided there is enough solar energy left after its own consumption.
Governor Aletha Frederick of the //Kharas region has called for greater cooperation between governments in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region to establish regulatory frameworks and infrastructure to provide assurance for cross-border energy trade and to enhance regional connectivity.
The proposed !Gawachab Solar Park project is expected to have a lifespan of 30 years. The //Gawachab Conservancy will receive a monthly lease amount of N$40,000 for the land, which will increase by 2% annually from the signing of the lease agreement. The conservancy’s management committee will also receive 5% of all profits made once the plant becomes operational. The project is expected to ease hardships experienced in the conservancy, including water shortages.
– Namibia Daily News