Zimbabwe’s ZETDC Begins Purchasing Excess Solar Power from Households and Businesses

The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC), the subsidiary of the state-owned ZESA Holdings, has started purchasing surplus solar power from households and businesses. 

Till now 117 customers have sold their extra solar power to the utility.

The net metering billing mechanism has facilitated individuals and businesses who have grid-tied solar systems to sell their excess solar power to ZETDC. In return, they get electricity credits which can be utilized for buying electricity from the utility when they do not have sufficient power supply.

Customers generating solar power with grid-tied inverters and smart meters can apply for the net metering facility by contacting any nearest ZETDC client service center. The credit units not only help the customer to get solar energy when they are in need but also keep the customer in a low tariff band, thus reducing their monthly electricity costs.

The 117 connections that have opted for the facility were selected from 175 successful applications. The remaining applications are still under evaluation. According to ZETDC, the connected installed capacity is 4.9 MW, while the total capacity for all applicants received is around 12.5 MW.

George Manyaya, General Manager – Stakeholder Relations Communications and Welfare Manager at ZESA, said the smart meter can measure both the power supplied to the grid as well as the power consumed by the user. The user gets their proportional power units credited to their ZEDTC account. 
Zimbabwe’s ZETDC Begins Purchasing Excess Solar Power from Households and Businesses
Zimbabwe’s ZETDC Begins Purchasing Excess Solar Power from Households and Businesses
This makes the electricity costs cheaper whenever the recharges or pays a post-paid bill.

According to Manyana, if every individual and business with solar power in surplus embraced this ZESA program, then the pressure on the national grid will be reduced significantly. With more customers connected to renewable energies, the more it will be helpful in improving the availability of electricity to all its customers.

The initiative of ZESA promotes sustainable renewable energy sources, small-scale investments, and energy market development. It allows importing substitution of energy and saves scarce foreign currency resources through roof-top solar electricity.

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