Tanzania home to first of four African mini-grids

International energy investment company, Continental Energy Corporation, has announced that its Tanzanian affiliate, Ruaha River Power Company Ltd., has begun construction on the first of four of its Malolo Mini-Grids. The project has a long list of subscribers, as well as a waiting list of at least 400 who are beginning to be subscribed.

The Morogoro Region. Credit: Wikimedia Commons/mwanasimba

The Malolo Mini-Grid is the first of four separate, isolated rural “mini-grids” installed in an area surrounding the village of Malolo and, subsequently, three nearby villages, all located in the Kilosa District, Morogoro Region, and Tanzania — to be built, owned, and operated by Ruaha Power, from which it will generate, distribute, and sell electrical power directly to consumers at pre-payment meters. When complete, the four Malolo Mini-Grids will have a combined generation capacity of 300 kW. Each mini-grid will directly deliver 75 kW of power to a combined total of approximately 2,500 residential, commercial, and light industrial customers.

Phase one of the Malolo Mini-Grid development — which involves the installation and commissioning of the first embedded generators, a 25 kW hybrid biomass gasifier and a 25 kW diesel generation plant together with more than four kilometers of low voltage distribution network to deliver power to about 400 subscribers — is expected to be online by the end of the first quarter of 2015.

The distribution network will be constructed to standards sufficient for connection to the national grid at such time as it may be extended into the Malolo Mini-Grid area. A 21,500 square-foot site near the village of Malolo has been acquired for the first generator house and power line easements have been arranged. Civil works and the construction of the first powerhouse and office has begun and are expected to be complete by year end.

Phase two is expected to add solar capacity to complete a hybrid biomass/solar PV/diesel powered mini-grid that Ruaha Power plans to duplicate at each of the other three villages.

http://www.fiercesmartgrid.com/story/tanzania-home-first-four-african-mini-grids/2014-10-08

For more:
– see this report 

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