Work begins on giant solar plant

Tuesday March 13 2018


By Mnaku Mbani @mnaku28

Dar es Salaam. The construction of the Tanzania’s largest solar power plant by Ruaha Energy Limited in Kilosa District, Morogoro Region, has started.

The plant, which will have the capacity of generating six megawatts (MW) of electricity, comes after the recent signing and execution of a Power Purchase Agreement with Tanesco, the state energy supplier.

This will be the first large solar power plant in Tanzania as many of the available systems are installed only to cater for a single building. It will also connect to the national grid.

The company’s chairman and chief executive, Mr John Tate, confirmed to The Citizen the start of construction, saying first power will be delivered by year-end 2018.

“Preliminary stage for the construction has started including site clearance and we expect to start the acquisition of machinery,” he said.

Mr Tate said the company has ordered machines from different countries including China and Germany, which are expected to arrive during the second quarter of this year which starts next month.

The company says has a 25 year agreement between the Company and Tanesco for delivery of 0.95 MW of power to the main grid from a Company owned facility in an industrial area in the heart of the new Kilosa Town.

“The company strives to implement rural-based, sustainable, clean energy solutions that optimise the renewable resources available in each market or village it serves,” added Mr Tate.

The firm says it has partnered with Cronimet Mining Power Solutions GmbH on the project which represents the Company’s first grid-connected Solar PV facility in a planned portfolio of six one-MW facilities being developed in the Kilosa District.

Cronimet Managing Director Rollie Armstrong noted, “John and I have been researching the Tanzania utility scale solar market for several years and have developed what we are convinced is a replicable, quick-to-market, utility scale solar PV power generation model. To see our first plant actually become a reality convinces us that the model we have designed is viable.” The facility is a solar photovoltaic power plant that will be connected to the main grid.

Partial funding for the project was supplied through a grant awarded to the Project by EEP (the Energy and Environmental Partnership for Southern and Eastern Africa), a programme funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, the Austrian Development Agency, and the UK Department for International Development.