Largest solar power plant in offing

THE Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (TANESCO) is tomorrow expected to sign an agreement with Total Energies for construction of   the largest solar power plant in the country in Kishapu, Shinyanga Region.

Records indicate that completion of the project will make the Kishapu plant among the largest solar power plants in East Africa.

Speaking on Friday in one of the local television stations in a live broadcast which involved TANESCO executives and editors from various media houses, the company’s Managing Director, Maharage Chande said the project will cost 43.2 million Euros, noting that they have already secured a contractor for the project.

“On Monday (tomorrow) we are going to sign the contract for construction of the largest solar power plant in the country, probably in East Africa, which will have the capacity to generate 50 MW in Kishapu, Shinyanga Region,” the MD said.

The move is in line with one of the key interventions in efforts to optimise the energy sector as indicated in the National Five Year Development Plan (FYDP III) (2021 – 2026), which is to strengthen availability and reliability of electrical power by increasing generation capacity, transmission and distribution networks.

FYDP III also intends to promote and develop renewable energy technologies and projects (Biogas, Geothermal, LPG, Solar and Wind).

In particular, the TANESCO DG highlighted five centres for power generation in the country based on zones, including centre A which involves the North East Generation Network (Malagarasi Hydro -49.5MW, Kakono Hydro 87MW, Rusumo Hydro 26.67MW, Kigoma Diesel 12MW, Solarwazi Solar 5MW, Nsongezi Hydro 35MW and Kikagati Murongo Hydro 7MW.

Moreover, he said centre B involves the area of the centre generation network which produces 877 MW while C involves the area of the North West Generation Network (Nyumba ya Mungu Hydro, Same Solar, Hale Hydro and New Pangani Hydro) which both produce 147 MW.

“The centre D involves the area of South East Generation Network, which includes the Julius Nyerere Hydroelectric Power Project (JNHPP)-2115 MW and other projects with a total of 3,417.5 MW while centre E involves the areas of South West Generation Network which produce 1,286MW,” he said.

In a related development, the TANESCO boss unveiled that his company has spent 4bn/- this year to mitigate effects of climate change in rivers.

According to him, the electric supply company spent the said amount as part of the Community Social Responsibility (CSR) in tackling biodiversity loss and mitigating the impact of climate change in various rivers in the country.

“We cooperate with the Rufiji River Basin, Pangani and River Basin, in all those basins, TANESCO pays a fee for using water in those basins … on top of that, we have allocated 4bn/- this year to clear blockage in water diversions,” he said.

Mr Chande further noted that TANESCO Board of Directors has adopted the company’s CSR to eye environmental protection.

Responding to the Kihansi spray toads which were sent to the US to protect them from extinction, Mr Chande said about 500 toads are expected to return to the country in June this year after failing to be returned in 2020 due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.

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