Zimbabwe encounters power supply crisis,Tesla saves its economic lifeline
Due to the drought that has not been seen for 40 years, the water level of Kariba Lake, the largest lake in Zimbabwe, has declined, resulting in a decline in the power generation capacity of the Kariba hydropower station, which is the main source of Tianjin power supply. In addition, Zimbabwe Wanji and other four thermal power stations are outdated and machine failures occur frequently. At the same time, the coal supply is insufficient, and most of the power generation capacity has already been lost. As a result, there is a huge gap in Zimbabwe’s electricity supply.
Zimbabwe's largest mobile phone operator, Econet Wireless Ltd. A off grid solar package is being sought from the car manufacturer and storage energy company Tesla in Palo Alto, Calif., to maintain the operation of the telecommunications base station. This southern African country faces a long-term cash shortage, so almost all transactions are done over the Internet, many of which are done via mobile phones.
"Telecom has become the lifeblood of the economy," said Norman Moyo, CEO of Distributed Power Africa, which installs off grid solar package for Econet. "If Zimbabwe's telecommunications network is rampant, you can't make any deals."
Moyo said that this is the largest off grid solar package telecommunications project that Tesla has participated so far. It has installed 520 Powerwall batteries and installed 2 base stations per base station. He said that because Econet has about 1,300 base stations in the country and two other mobile phone companies operating there, Distributed Power plans to install more off grid solar package. This project may eventually be extended to other countries in Africa that lack electricity, such as Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Zimbabwe's base stations often use diesel generators as backup, but the country's fuel is also scarce. Each of the $6,500 Powerwalls comes in handy when stand alone solar panels don't generate enough power at night or on cloudy days. According to reports, this stand alone solar panels charged lithium-ion battery can provide up to 10 hours of power to a base station.
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