Emesco’s Schonau Solar Energy accepted as Conditional Member of SAPP

Image caption: Eng. Stephen Dihwa (Executive Director, SAPP), Pieter Rossouw (Commercial Director, Emesco), Nico Knight (Country Manager – Namibia, Emesco), Pinehas Mutota (GM, ECB)

The Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) has admitted Emesco’s Schonau Solar Energy as a Conditional Member, in the category Market Participant – one of the first in this new membership category and one of the first solar plants accepted as member of SAPP.

WINDHOEK, KHOMAS REGION, 29 August 2023 – The Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) announced at the SAPP & MSB Market Access conference, held in Windhoek this week, that Namibian MSB licensed generator and exporter, Schonau Solar Energy (SSE), has been accepted as a Conditional Member, one of the first solar plants to be admitted under this membership category.

The Conditional Membership category supports generators and exporters in meeting bankability requirements from financiers by confirming participation on the SAPP power markets once projects become commercially operational.

The SAPP, created under the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), operates four competitive electricity markets between twelve member countries and have facilitated trade between utilities in southern Africa since 1995. The operating member countries include Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia & DRC which are primarily represented by each country’s national utility.

The 125 MW Schonau Solar Energy PV project is being developed by Emesco, is licensed under the Namibian MSB framework for generation of renewable energy and its export via the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP). The export of renewable energy into the SAPP grid over the 25 year life of the project will improve generation capacity and support carbon mitigation objectives across the SADC region.

Alison Chikova, Chief Engineer (Planning and Operations) of SAPP, said, “The SAPP Conditional Membership for Market Participants was introduced in April 2023. Schonau Solar Energy is amongst four awarded conditional membership with effect from 28 August 2023 and valid for 5 years”.

Pieter Rossouw, Commercial Director of Emesco, said, “We would like to thank SAPP for entrusting Schonau Solar Energy with Conditional Membership and look forward to participating on the SAPP Power Markets. Conditional Membership is a significant milestone which brings Emesco a step closer to realizing its vision of playing a key role in Namibia becoming a net-exporter of energy.”

“We are grateful to the Namibian Electricity Control Board for developing the MSB framework which has led us this point and encourage other SAPP member states to adopt similar means of market access which will encourage investment in sustainable energy solutions across the SADC region.” Rossouw concluded.

By the numbers:

  • The DC nameplate capacity of the plant is 125 MWp which will result in 116 MW AC Net generation for export.
  • Over the 25-year life of the plant, 7 898 064 MWh will be produced resulting in the mitigation of 7 796 179 t CO
  • The estimated project cost is USD 107 m


EMESCO is a full life-cycle energy services company, building generation capacity in Southern Africa with the aim to become a leading private energy utility in the region. The company develops, implements, owns and operates utility-scale renewable projects to generate electricity for export to large-scale power users in the SADC region through the SAPP markets and bilateral agreements.

Market Segment
System Size
Total Capacity
0 - 30 kWp
Commercial and Industrial (C&I) - SSEG
30kWp - 1MWp
C&I Large Scale and utility scale
1MWP - 50MWp
Utility Scale
> 50MWp