WINDLAB Developments Tanzania has been given a green light to proceed with a 300MW wind-to-electricity project at Makambako in Njombe. The project was awarded an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) Certificate by the Ministry of State, Vice-President’s Office, Union and Environment at the end of last month.

According to a statement issued by WindLab, the ESIA certificate was the first for such kind of the project that will bring some 300 million US dollars (700bn/-) investment during the first phase alone. The money will cater for the construction of the Miombo Hewani Wind Farm and Transmission line project, located 10km north of Makambako. “It would be built in phases.

The first phase of the project will be around 100MW and include up to 34 wind turbines as well as electrical infrastructure connecting the wind farm to national electricity grid at the Makambako substations,” the statement said yesterday. The ESIA Certificate was the first to be issued in the country for a wind farm project and was signed by The Minister of State, Vice-President’s Office, Union and Environment, January Makamba.

Windlab Chief Executive Officer, Roger Price, said they are very pleased to receive the first EISA for a wind farm in the country. “Miombo Hewani enjoys an excellent wind resource, not only amongst the best on the continent, but also one of the best in the world,” Mr Price said.

The Wangingo’mbe District Commissioner, Mr Ali Kassinge, said they were happy to work with Windlab as they develop a first of its kind wind farm in Tanzania. “We look forward to the project being built and the benefits that will be realised at the local and district level due to the jobs created and the income that it will bring,” he said through the statement.

Windlab Tanzania Project Development Engineer, Frank Tarimo, said they have been working to develop the Miombo Hewani project for over 3 years. “I look forward to the day when I can travel to Makambako and see the wind turbines operating,” Mr Tarimo said. He said the wind farm will operate for at least 25 years and generate enough power to supply nearly one million average homes. T

o help fund the investment required to develop the project, Windlab was successful at securing an Energy and Environment Partnership grant from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland. Windlab is working closely with the Ministry of Energy, Tanesco and the TIB Investment Bank to ensure that the project can be built successfully to benefit the local farmers, community and the nation as a whole.