Econet gets licence to generate solar energy

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (Econet) has been given a licence to generate power to meet the electricity and energy needs at its Willowvale premises in Harare, according to a notice carried in the media.

The Willowvale complex is a major hub for Econet’s switching and network operations infrastructure.

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) said the licence allows the mobile telecommunications giant to “construct, own, operate and maintain Econet Willowvale Solar plant for the purposes of generation and supply of electricity for own consumption”.

Econet is the largest mobile network operator in Zimbabwe, with several switches in Harare and Bulawayo, and over 4 600 base stations scattered around the country.

The telecommunications and technology company looks to have taken the lead in “going green” and adopting the use of clean energy at its office premises and key network infrastructure sites around the country.

A source within the company said the company had so far installed clean solar energy at over 75 sites, including an installation at its Contact Centre in Graniteside, Harare, which houses over 220 call-centre agents.

The source said work on deploying clean solar energy at its Msasa head office in Harare was scheduled to start anytime this month.

The licence comes at a time when Econet’s sister company, Distribution Power Africa (DPA), recently announced plans to invest $250 million in Zimbabwe, especially targeting new investments in the manufacturing and mining industries.

A senior DPA executive was quoted as saying their system could provide between 10KW and 10MW. — The Financial Gazette