Luponde 2,9 MW Hydro & Rural Electrification Project

Project Developer: Luponde Hydro Ltd.

Project Partners: AECF, REA

Project Status: 0,9 MW hydro unit (phase 1) almost completed (antcipated commssioning in Q1 2019)

The Luponde Hydro Power and Rural Electrification Project, located in the Njombe Region, (Southern Tanzanian Highlands, about 40km from Njombe town) is an integrated, private, renewable energy infrastructure project, consisting of two adjacent hydro sites totalling 2.9 MW and an associated rural network. The economy in the project area is dominated by agricultural activities, industrial and smallholder tea farming, small timber plantations, plus various subsistence farming activities.  The project is being developed in cooperation with the AECF and REA.

The project will supply approximately 17.2 GWh of grid quality, renewable electricity per year to 1) a total of nine villages, which are either adjacent to the site or along the power line, 2) the local tea industry and 3) TANESCO (the National Utility) taking up the rest/bulk of the electricity produced, under a Standardized Power Purchase Agreement (SPPA).

The rural distribution network is anticipated to form part (an extension) of the existing Distribution License held by Rift Valley Energy’s distribution entity (Mwenga Power Services Ltd.), and will be operated as a subdivision of this entity purchasing bulk power from Luponde Hydro Limited and retailing it to 1,400 rural customers within the next two years. Additionally, it may be possible to further grow the rural network to reach neighbouring village subsections (hamlets) through a follow on rural electrification phase within two years of successful project commissioning. Any further network expansion will be coordinated with REA and is subject to funding.