The Masaiti Energy Center is a unique, multi-technology renewable energy project combining wind power, solar power and battery storage capacity. Zambia’s electrical system is heavily dependent on hydroelectricity and recurring droughts have made ‘load shedding’ (rolling black outs) a term of every day usage across the country. In the past year, daily power outages have ranged from 8 hours to 20 hours. Clearly Zambia needs an alternative to hydro-electricity and the government has invited new investment in wind energy and solar energy.
The Copperbelt Province is far from the large hydro-electric generation that predominates the Zambian electrical grid, but fortunately, the Province has wind and solar resources that can help serve this key industrial area of the country. Upepo is working closely with the Copperbelt Energy Company (CEC), a private utility, to create this multi-technology project so that it will be responsive to CEC’s load profile.
In addition to providing a load following balance of wind, solar and battery stored electricity, the Masaiti Energy Center has committed to provide one or more social amenity projects during development and to create a Community Trust Fund which will be locally run and will focus on local social needs including extending the electricity infrastructure, improving schools and creating, suppling and staffing health clinics.