Solar Wind Energy signs Africa MoU

US downdraft tower developer Solar Wind Energy has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with venture capitalist Invest Africa to build projects using its sky-scraping solar-wind power technology in Namibia and Botswana.

Under the MoU, SWE will provide technical support and personnel  to assist Invest Africa subsidiaries in project development, design, procurement, construction and the operation of tower solar-wind power plant in the African states.

"We have worked diligently for over three years assembling the team, techniques, and know how to enable this clean alternative energy solution to be brought to market," states SWE chief executive Ron Pickett.

"Our business plan is to enable developers to materialise projects across the globe where weather conditions are most suitable.  Africa provides prime environments for our tower, and the desire and need for power in Africa is extremely high."

Pickett says his company, which is planning to build a pair of the towers - which could each generate some 435MWh a hour - in southwest US by 2018, is also studying locations in the Middle East seen as "ideal to support [SWE tower] projects".

SWE's technology is designed around an industrial-size hollow concrete cylinder fitted with a water injection system, built into the open top, that cools streaming dry air causing it to speed down the tower to turn turbines at the base of the structure.

Invest Africa holds governmental authority and licenses to trade and export high-yield commodities such as gold, diamonds and crude oil.