Tanzania to Launch Wind Powered Electricity

The country's first wind powered electricity is expected to be generated in Makambako District in Njombe region, southwest of Tanzania. The project's development is spearheaded by Windlab Development Tanzania and is progressing well.

The project, Miombo Hewani Wind Farm as it is called, is a planned 300 Megawatts in wind-powered power station in three phases of 100 Megawatts each Miombo Hewani enjoys an excellent wind resource; not only amongst the best on the continent, but one of the best in the world. The wind resource pattern is biased towards night time generation and generation during the dry season in Tanzania, making it an ideal addition for Tanzania's current and planned electricity generation mix.

The project's first phase is set to serve over one million residents of Makambako Township. Windlab Development Tanzania in a statement said the project's lifespan once completed would be 25 to 30 years, and the company is working to ensure that local communities in the villages of Igomba, Isimike and Itengelo benefit from the project. The statement further stated, Miombo Hewani had been approved to be set up a wind turbine in the area and the first phase investment is projected at Tshs.575 billion ($250 million) and will take 12 to 18 months to implement.

To generate the first 100 Megawatts, one needs up to 34 wind turbines as well as electrical infrastructure connecting the wind farm to the national electricity grid at the Makambako substation. Mid last year, Windlab Development Tanzania was issued an environmental and social impact assessment certificate for the project at Makambako located at the junction of Njombe, Iringa and Mbeya regions.

Once all phases are complete, the facility will have a capacity of generating enough power to light some three million households, based on current per capita usage. The power generated at Miombo Hewani will be sold to the Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (TANESCO) at affordable rate, and Miombo Hewani will have a large stake from Tshs.2.3 billion ($10 million).

Only 38 percent of Tanzania is electrified, with demand for electricity growing nearly 15 percent per year. The country's vast water and gas reserves will continue to provide the bulk of power, but Tanzania seeks to wean its electricity away from aging, unreliable hydropower plants.

Plans for the construction of a wind farm in Tanzania began in October 2015 where Tanzania's Six Telecoms, Aldwych International Limited of the United Kingdom, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) based in Washington, D. C pooled funds together for the project. They formed Wind East Africa Limited, the parent company to Windlab Development Tanzania as a special vehicle to develop, own, and operate the power station.

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