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Sunday, December 01, 2013 

Italians to build Uganda solar units

KAMPALA, Uganda--Four large solar energy plants are to be developed in Uganda, as the country struggles to close the electricity deficit gap.
According to the Italian developers, Ergon Solair and Martifer Solar based in the United States, the new power plants were commissioned by the Ugandan Development Corporation (UDC).
The solar energy power plants are expected to have a significant economic impact on several communities throughout the country, many of which are under intense financial pressure due to the prices associated with energy.
Ergon Solair, say the four solar power plants will have a combined energy capacity of 500 megawatts. The company expects that solar energy could help several communities throughout Uganda save anywhere from 30% to 50% on their energy bills.
Uganda’s electricity tariffs are said to be the highest in Africa ranging from Ush550 (about 22 US cents) per unit for domestic consumers.
Recently, national legislators were agitating for the termination of the Umeme  distribution concession.  
According to an Ergon Solair statement, construction on the new power plants is expected to begin in 2014.
It is hoped the power plants will be completed in October 2016.
The electricity produced will be bought by the government through a power purchase agreement with Ergon Solair.
After this energy has been purchased, it will be fed into the country’s energy national grid, where it can be used to power homes and businesses.

By Paul Tentena, Sunday, December 01st, 2013