HomeRegional NewsEast AfricaSolar hybrid mini grids to uplift Tanzanian economy

Solar hybrid mini grids to uplift Tanzanian economy

In Tanzania, an electrification project driven by JUMEME Rural Power Supply (JUMEME) will soon see over 100,000 local residents benefit from the recent rollout of solar hybrid mini grids.

According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), this initiative, which is co-financed by the European Union Energy Facility, has received preparation support from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), and is one of the first of its portfolio to become operational since the Fund came about in 2012.

Solar hybrid mini grids rolled out in stages

The pilot project in Bwisya Village, Mwanza Region, is carried out in two phases.

The Bank explained: “Phase one consists of the installation of a mini-grid of 7 kilometre 400 volt low-voltage lines, a 60kWp solar PV system, a 240kWh (C10) battery bank, 54kW bidirectional battery inverters and a 33kVA diesel generator.

[quote]“A total of 250 domestic, commercial and small industrial clients in the centre of the village will be connected to the system within the next three months.

“During Phase two in the second half of 2016, the power station capacity will be increased to 380kW and a medium voltage line will connect six additional villages on Ukara Island.”

This rollout is part of the first phase of many planned projects for JUMEME, which is scheduled to run until 2017.

During this phase, around 28 mini-grids will be deployed with a strong focus on supplying anchor customers such as the telecom industry, mines and small businesses, the Bank highlighted in a statement.

Joint venture

JUMEME, a joint partnership including INENSUS, TerraProjects, St. Augustine University of Tanzania, and RP Global, is working towards boosting Tanzania’s rural electrification rate, which was estimated to be about 21% in Tanzania at the end of 2014, according to the AfDB.

Managing Director of TerraProjects Renewable Energy, Leo Schiefermueller, one of the four partners of the project, said: “This power system is the first project of many that JUMEME will be implementing in the coming years across Tanzania.

“It showcases the positive social, economic and environmental impact of sustainable electricity supply, based on a business model that provides development opportunities for rural citizens and fair returns for private investors.”

SEFA Coordinator, Joao Duarte Cunha said: “The inauguration and roll-out of JUMEME in Tanzania is a testimony that such innovative projects can become a reality with the right partners and support.

“SEFA is working to enable more projects like this one across the continent.”

The Bank noted in a statement: “By 2022, JUMEME aims to implement around 300 mini-grids and supply high-quality and reliable electricity to 1 million customers across Tanzania. JUMEME partners include INENSUS, TerraProjects, St. Augustine University of Tanzania, and RP Global.”


Home page pic credit: African Development Bank (AfDB)

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.