Tanzania has entered into an agreement to construct the country’s first-ever solar photovoltaic power station to feed into the national electricity grid.
The contract was signed on 29th May 29 2023, in Dodoma by the Tanzania Electricity Corporation (TANESCO), in the presence of the Minister of Energy, Hon. January Makamba.
The project is part of a larger initiative of installing 150 MW of solar energy in the Kishapu district of the Shinyanga region.
The first phase will involve constructing a 50 MW solar photovoltaic power plant, alongside a new power station with a 33 kilovolts/220 voltage capacity. The power station will connect to the national grid through a 220 kV transmission line from Singida to Shinyanga.
The second phase will consist of plants generating 100 MW, resulting in a total project cost of TZS 275 billion.
Sinohydro Corporation from China has been appointed as the construction contractor for the project’s first phase, while JV Artelia from France and Energiovida from Tanzania will serve as consulting contractors. The estimated cost for the first phase is TZS 109 billion, the works are expected to start in June 2023 and be completed within 12 months.
During the event, the Minister of Energy acknowledged that this marks the first introduction of solar electricity into the national grid of Tanzania. He commended the country’s President for providing guidance and leadership that have facilitated the trust of development partners, including the French Development Agency (AFD), which has provided a loan for the project’s implementation.
The Minister emphasized that the implementation of the solar project reflects the government’s commitment to establishing a diverse mix of electricity sources in the national grid, incorporating water, gas, wind, and solar power. This approach aims to ensure a continuous supply of electricity, even in the event of a failure in one source.
Furthermore, Minister Makamba revealed that the government is developing a new Renewable Energy Policy to further enhance investments in renewable energy. This policy will capitalize on the substantial financial resources, capital markets, and advancements in new technologies dedicated to renewable energy globally.
He also announced ongoing efforts to identify areas with renewable energy resources and prioritize native investments in wind and solar projects. The government will provide support in this regard and establish guidelines for project implementation.
In terms of off-grid areas such as islands, the government will continue facilitating endeavours to provide electricity through renewable energy projects, specifically solar and wind power.