Dar in­vites in­vestors for wind, so­lar power plants

The East African - - OUT­LOOK -

By NJIRAINI MUCHIRA

TAN­ZA­NIA IS seek­ing in­vestors to build wind and so­lar power plants as part of plans to di­ver­sify its en­ergy gen­er­a­tion mix and meet grow­ing de­mand.

The wind power plants are ex­pected to gen­er­ate 200MW with a minimum ca­pac­ity of 50MW each. The so­lar plants will gen­er­ate 150MW and should have a minimum ca­pac­ity of 20MW each. The projects are ex­pected to run over the next two years and will be lo­cated in Dodoma, Singida, Shinyanga, Mwanza, Simiyu, Njombe and Iringa Re­gions.

“Tanesco is pleased to present this op­por­tu­nity to prospec­tive de­vel­op­ers to un­der­take fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies, fi­nance, build, own, op­er­ate and trans­fer wind power projects of a ca­pac­ity of not less than 50MW,” reads a no­tice from the Tan­za­nia Elec­tric Sup­ply Com­pany (Tanesco).

Low ex­ploita­tion

Tan­za­nia has im­mense so­lar and wind power po­ten­tial, but the level of ex­ploita­tion is low. The coun­try’s so­lar power gen­er­a­tion po­ten­tial is es­ti­mated to be equiv­a­lent to that of Spain, while high wind power po­ten­tial ar­eas cover more than 10 per cent of the coun­try, an area the size of Malawi, and have greater po­ten­tial than that of the US State of Cal­i­for­nia.

“Cer­tain ar­eas of Tan­za­nia with high so­lar ir­ra­di­a­tion also have high wind speeds at night, rais­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of round-the-clock power gen­er­a­tion,” notes an en­ergy map­ping re­port by the World Bank.

Ac­cord­ing to Tanesco, en­ergy de­mand has been grow­ing at an an­nual av­er­age of 10 per cent in re­cent years, driven by in­vest­ments in the min­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tors. To meet the de­mand, Tan­za­nia is investing in wind, so­lar, hy­dro, coal, nat­u­ral gas and geo­ther­mal with the hope of in­creas­ing ca­pac­ity from the cur­rent 1,585MW to about 10,000MW by 2025. The coun­try is also up­grad­ing and ex­pand­ing trans­mis­sion and distribution systems.

In East Africa, Kenya is cur­rently gen­er­ates about two per cent of power from wind and so­lar. The com­ing on stream of the Lake Turkana Wind Power is ex­pected to boost this.

Tanesco sub-sta­tion in Dar es salaam.

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