Tanzania invites investors for wind, solar power plants

Thursday September 27 2018

Windpower, ngong

A wind power farm in Ngong, Kenya. Tanzania has invited bids for wind and solar power plants. PHOTO | NMG 

NJIRAINI MUCHIRA
By NJIRAINI MUCHIRA
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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.

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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.

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