ISAAC PHIRI, KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka
SOLARQUEST Limited has partnered with Schneider Electric and the Lusaka City Council (LCC) to pilot solar-powered street lights that are expected to help reduce expenditure incurred by the local authority when sourcing electricity from Zesco Limited.
Currently, the council pays Zesco over K150, 000 per month on electricity supplied to the 17,000 street and traffic lights currently installed in Lusaka.
Solarquest will install transmission poles with embedded electronic billboards (that will generate income for developer and council), equipment and related accessories while the LCC will authorise, waive some levies and provide land, among other things.
In an interview on Wednesday, company managing director Mayur Patel said about US$ 35, 000 has been invested to conduct a demonstration of the alternative energy solutions on Parliament Road in Lusaka.
“The aim of the demonstration will be to showcase the quality of the solution, and discuss the plans to roll out across Lusaka once a contract is signed.
“The advantage of this will be reducing the burden of energy on Zesco, bringing illumination and therefore safety to the roads and embracing alternative energy as a viable option for the country,” he said.
Earlier, Schneider Electric head of sustainable development for Anglophone Africa cluster Zanelle Dalglish said the company aims to contribute to the transformation of industries with an innovative, international and responsible mindset.
“The solar street lights have a very unique battery solution that offers a 10-year lifespan and can endure extreme climates. The installation time is 10 minutes and can be fitted as retrofit to existing poles.
“These solar lights offer the best in class lumens per watt ratio and have the technology to ensure zero blackouts during the evening,” Ms Dalglish said.
And LCC director of Engineering Services Maliwa Muchuu said the council will partner with the private developers in the provision of solar-powered street lights after all the necessary approvals.
“We intend to stop using the use of conventional electricity for the street lights since it is expensive with the recent tariff adjustment. Currently, we have 17,000 street lights and the council is spending in excess of K150, 000 per month in prepaid electricity,” Mr Muchuu said.