The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has approved a USD 420,000 grant for the Jumeme Rural Power Supply (JRPS) Ltd to support the development of a group of independent solar-hybrid mini-grids in rural parts of Tanzania.
In 2012, the Government targeted achieving 30% connectivity in the country by 2015; however grid extension has proven to be expensive in many of the rural areas, which has left the market open for mini-grid systems.
According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), the SEFA grant will provide the necessary finances to cover the costs of the technical studies, the lenders’ due diligence support and the legal and financial advisory services in support of the goal of expanding electrification and increasing access to energy services in nearly 16 villages during the first phase.
“Tanzania’s national electricity coverage is estimated at about 21%, with the transmission grid covering a minor part of the country and leaving out most of the territory, particularly in western and southern regions,” said the AfDB in a released statement.
The JRPS is a joint venture between three companies, including the German energy supply systems firm, Inensus GmbH, the Austrian renewable energy project developer, TerraProjects and the Tanzanian St Augustine University.
SEFA is a multi-donor facility that supports to private investments in small to medium-sized clean energy projects in Africa and, according to the SEFA Coordinator, Joao Duarte Cunha, the success of the Tanzanian energy project will affect other future projects.
“The success of Jumeme will have a strong demonstration effect for future mini-grids systems developers and operators, and pave the way for stronger AfDB engagement in this segment,” he said.