Sunday, January 11, 2015 

Italians win Uganda Solar Energy project

A man examines his solar panels

KAMPALA, UGANDA – A Ugandan-Italian consortium Simba Telecom/Building Energy SPA and the consortium of Access/TSK Electronica of United Arab Emirates and Spain will invest $38million in two Solar Power Energy projects in Eastern Uganda.

The two consortium companies will generate 20MW of electricity, each generating 10MW in Soroti and Tororo districts in Eastern Uganda.

The United Arab Emirates and Spanish consortium of Access/TSK Electronica will invest $20million in their Soroti Solar power project while the Uganda/Italy consortium of Simba Telecom and Building Energy SPA will put in $18million for the Tororo solar power.

According to Ziria Tibalwa Waako, the Electricity Regulatory Authority Director Technical Regulation the average tariff for the first 20MW solar PV projects over the 20 year operation will cost USD cents 16.37 per Kilo Watt Hour, however, the Uganda end users will pay USD cents 11 Per Kilo Watt Hour.

The remaining USD Cents 5.37 per Kilo Watt Hour will be paid by GET FiT Uganda solar facility in form of result based premium payments per KWH of delivered electricity.  The funding will be availed by the Europen Union Infrastructure Trust Fund through KfW, the German Development Bank.

Commenting on the project, the European Union head of delegation Ambassador Kristian Schmidt said the project is a strong commitment from the Ugandan government to get sector policies and regulations right and attractive to private investment.

“Solar PV offers important advantages for Uganda. In addition to being quick to implement, solar projects can be built to demand centres, thereby reducing transmission losses and stabilizing grid,” said Waako.

She said by introducing a new technology to the generation mix, Uganda’s dependency on hydropower is reduced, making the country’s electricity supply more resilient to climate change.

Moses Murengezi an official in the ministry of Energy and Mineral Development said if the two projects come out a success, it will be the first time Uganda will connect solar power to the national grid.

He said with the Uganda economy growing, the feed in tariff from solar power will be affordable to locals.

“Our biggest problem is power being expensive to be affordable by locals,” said Murengezi.

Reda El Chaar the Managing Director Access said they expect to put their first unit on the national grid by end of 2015.

Renewable Energy projects contribute over 128MW to Uganda’s energy portfolio.

By Paul Tentena, Sunday, January 11th, 2015