26 March 2012

Tanzania: Giant Solar Power Project Starts Soon

The solar power project worth 7.5bn/- (about 4.7 million US dollars) is to take off in May, this year, in a move expected to benefit hundreds of homes and community facilities in Kigoma Region.

The project follows a move by the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a US aid agency which operates in Tanzania as the Millennium Challenge Account - Tanzania (MCA-T), to award the tender to a local energy company in Tanzania.

The local company, Rex won the Tender in partnership with Camco, an energy efficiency company. The Director for Commercial Sales and Marketing at Rex, Ms Christine Kahane, said on Sunday the project would involve installation of solar power at 45 secondary schools, 10 health centres, 120 dispensaries, municipal buildings and businesses across 25 village market centres.

As part of the project Camco will encourage households in the region to install small-scale solar home systems (SHS) by advising communities on the collective purchase and installation of systems in bulk. This arrangement, known as the 'PV Clusters' project format, is already being implemented by Camco in rural communities across the Lake Victoria region of Tanzania.

Currently only 15 per cent of the population in Tanzania have access to electricity. The project is part of the five-year Compact grant, extended to the government by the US through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) with the objective of reducing poverty and stimulating economic growth.

Mr Jeff Felten, Managing Director, Camco Tanzania said: "We are delighted that the MCC has recognised the positive impact small-scale solar installations can have on rural off-grid communities in Tanzania.

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