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) is operational (commissioned in Q2 2019), Phase 2 (2,0 MW unit) is still under construction.

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), that has finally been signed in December 2020.

The rural distribution network is already operational in 5 villages of the project region and managed as a subdivision of RVE’s own distribution company, Mwenga Power Services Ltd., which purchasing bulk power from Luponde Hydro Limited and retailing it to currently about 350 customers (the project is targeting a total of 1,400 rural customers within the next year). Any further network expansion beyond this number will be coordinated with REA and is subject to funding. In 2020 this project qualified for the RBF II grant and is currently awaiting the final award process to be closed.