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» »Unlabelled » INAUGURATION OF SOLAR POWERED MINI-GRID ON UKARA ISLAND


Pamoja Blog 4/05/2016 08:25:00 PM 0

JUMEME Rural Power Supply Ltd. in Tanzania, together with its partners celebrates this day the launch of its solar-powered mini-grid on the Lake Victoria island of Ukara. The occasion is attended by Ukerewe District Commissioner, Mr. Joseph Joseph Mkirikiti, European Union (EU) Delegation Head of Natural Resources, Mr. Gianluca Azzoni, Chairperson of the Bwisya Village Power Committee, Mr. Lazaro Kabunga, officials from the Local Government Authorities and partners.
The project “Micro Power Economy, Tanzania Roll-out”, developed by JUMEME and its international partners, aims at implementing and operating Solar-Hybrid Mini-Grids in remote settlements in Tanzania. This project has a total budget of 16 Million EUROS (around 38.4 Billion TZS) and is co-funded by the European Union under the European Commission ACP-EU Energy Facility with a commitment of 7.4 Million EUROS (around 17.8 Billion TZS). 50% of the project cost is covered through private investment (both equity and debt). The mini-grid in Bwisya is the first of 30 systems to be installed by JUMEME over the next 2 years, supplying reliable electricity to around 100,000 people.

“Our goal is to set up 300 systems and serve up to 1 million people in rural areas across Tanzania by 2022, making JUMEME the largest mini-grid operator in the country”, said Rev. Dr. Thadeus Mkamwa, one of JUMEME’s Directors and Vice-Chancellor of St. Augustine University of Tanzania. He continued to explain that the power system was set up in Bwisya, the largest village on Ukara, where initially 250 customers will be connected to a hybrid power station consisting of a 60 kilowatts peak (kW p) solar PV system, a 33 kVA diesel genset, and a 240 kilowatt hours (kWh) battery bank. The system will be extended in the second half of this year to connect the other villages on the island with a total of 2,000 customers.

For the implementation of the pilot project in Bwisya, JUMEME receives additional co-financing from the Energy and Environment Partnership Programme with Southern and East Africa, Phase II. Grants for technical assistance are provided by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa and the Global Climate Partnership Fund.

“The pilot project on Ukara Island is a first step towards a sustainable power supply for many of the remote communities in Tanzania that are still without access to electricity”, said Mr. Joseph Joseph Mkirikiti, District Commissioner of Ukerewe District, Mwanza Region. “We endorse this project and the approach of JUMEME, as it is in full compliance with the goals of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania to bring reliable electricity supply to all Tanzanians and to provide the right conditions for sustainable economic development in the rural areas” added the District Commissioner.

The EU Delegation Head of Natural Resources, Mr. Gianluca Azzoni said: “This project is yet another showcase of Europe's commitment to help ensure access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services not only to Tanzanian households in remote settlements but also to agricultural enterprises, businesses and public infrastructures. By 2018, the EU funds in this project will see several Mini-Grids installed providing electricity to 11,000 households, 2,600 agricultural enterprises and businesses, and more than 80 public infrastructures (schools, clinics, religious buildings).”

Mr. Lazaro M. Kabunga, the Chairperson of the Bwisya Village Power Committee, said: “We are extremely grateful for the collaboration with JUMEME. We are not only expecting a general improvement of living conditions at household levels, but also a boost of economic activities. We acknowledge the fact that JUMEME is a private company that charges the real cost for the provided services. The costs are significantly lower in addition to the better quality compared to the energy sources we have been using up to now.

Background: JUMEME was founded in 2014 to develop, build, own and operate rural Mini-Grids in Tanzania. The company is a partnership between INENSUS, a leading German company specialized in development, technology and consultancy services on rural mini-grids, TerraProjects, an Austrian specialist in renewable energy project development, and St. Augustine University of Tanzania, an independent higher learning institution based in Mwanza. Just recently, RP Global, an Austrian developer, investor and operator of renewable energy projects, joined JUMEME as the newest and largest shareholder.

The modular design of the power stations allows for a constant extension with growing electricity demand, making it possible to supply electricity to any existing or future customers such as shops, workshops and small to medium sized industrial users, in addition to households and public infrastructure. This enables customers to make full use of their development potentials while creating fair returns for JUMEME and its investors, thus ensuring long-term viability and scalability of the approach for the benefit of all parties involved.

To ensure successful implementation of the projects, JUMEME has joined forces with a number of experienced project partners: GVEP International, an NGO providing energy advisory services to micro, small and medium energy enterprises, the Sustainable Business Institute (SBI), a German research institute focusing on sustainable economies, and Excel Hort Consult Ltd., a Ugandan agribusiness and development company.

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