A 2.4MW wind farm in Mwenga in the Mufindi district of Tanzania’s Iringa region, financed entirely by the UK Government’s Departments for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), is nearing completion.
The farm’s three turbines have recently arrived at the project site and installation and testing is expected to be completed by early May.
Once operational, the wind farm will provide energy security to customers of a rapidly expanding private rural grid network developed and operated by project developer Rift Valley Energy Group.
The rural grid network is currently powered by a 4MW hydropower plant that has been operational since 2012, and is the first private large-scale rural network in Tanzania.
Upon completion, the new 2.4-MW wind power facility will complement the hydropower plant.
The plant provides clean, grid-quality electricity to more than 4,500 homes and businesses across 32 villages, including energy-intensive end users such as tea-processing companies and sawmills, as well as the region’s rapidly growing SME sector.
Any surplus power is sold to the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (TANESCO) under a power purchase agreement.
The new wind farm will enable the planned expansion of the rural network to continue, which is expected to connect a further 1,500 customers over the next two years, and counter the hydro plant’s varying output due to the region’s seasonality of rainfall.