Energy and Power Development Minister Fortune Chasi, with his Deputy Magna Mudyiwa, today officially opened a solar-powered Petrotrade service station in Mabvuku.
Present at the official opening was also the Minister of State for Harare Province Oliver Chidawu; Secretary of Energy and Power Development, Dr Gloria Magombo and also acting Chief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe Energy Regulation Authority (ZERA) Edington Mazambani.
The Power Development Minister revealed that the Mabvuku service station is the first of the Government-owned Petrotrade sites to be installed with a high-quality solar energy system.
Chasi said, “I am the solar system powers fuel pumps, lighting and sockets/plugs for appliances. I am impressed that the solar system is scalable and Petrotrade intends to upgrade it such that it becomes the main source of energy for the service station with grid electricity being the back up.”
“The company is expected to benefit through savings on ZETDC tariffs once installed systems start to reduce energy costs at the end of pay-back periods.”
The Minister also revealed Petrotrade’s plan to install similar systems on the company’s other service stations.
“For the year 2020, it has earmarked three additional service stations which are currently under construction for solar installation,” Chasi said.
“For the year 2021, the company intends to install solar systems at four additional service stations that are already operating. Thereafter, the exercise will be ongoing until all of its remaining sites are solar-powered.”
“Petrotrade is therefore commended for the initiative underway for the installation of rooftop solar panels at all service stations,” he went on.
A total of ZWL$8.3 million was invested in the construction of the service station that began in October 2017 and completed in January this year.
The solar system consists of 18 x 390w solar panels, 4 x 14.4 kWh usable capacity lithium-ion batteries and 2 x 5 kW MPPT hybrid inverters.