Mwenga Hydro Power & Rural Electrification Project

Tanzania

This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication is the sole responsibility of Rift Valley Energy (Border Timbers Limited) and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

Phase 1: The Mwenga Hydro and Rural Electrification Project

Project Developer: Mwenga Hydro Ltd.

Project Partners: EU/ACP Energy Fund, REA

Project Status: Operational

The Mwenga Hydro and Rural Electrification Project is an integrated, renewable energy generation and distribution project, located in the Mufindi District (Southern Highlands of Tanzania) and was developed in cooperation with the EU/ACP Energy Facility, REA and TRIT (Tea Research Institute of Tanzania).

As a result of this project, RVE’s (currently only) now operational entity, Mwenga Hydro Ltd. (MHL), operates a 4MW hydro-power-station and rural distribution network, supplying annually, 21.5 GWh of grid-quality, renewable electricity (approx. 0.5% of the national usage) to the National Utility (TANESCO), the local tea industry ö(as a back-up facility), as well as currently 17 villages in the project area (to be extended to a total of 32 villages, see below).

To best service its rural network, MHL has developed and deployed an innovative state of the art cell-phone based, pre-paid-electricity-vending-system, supplying more than 2,200 rural customers with cheap, green, on-demand electricity. MHL expects to raise this number to more than 3,000 customers within the next year.

With this project RVE has also been successful in developing the first, private, UNFCCC registered CDM project in Tanzania, generating estimated 100,000 CERs over a 7-year crediting period.

Phase 2: Mwenga Hydro’s Rural Network Expansion into the Kihansi Basin

Project Developer: Mwenga Hydro Ltd.

Project Partners: EU/ACP Energy Fund, REA

Project Status: under construction

With the “Rural Network Expansion into the Kihansi Basin” (also in cooperation with the EU/ACP Energy Facility and REA), RVE is currently expanding MHL’s rural network into the neighbouring Kihansi basin -  which is a well populated and economically emerging area next to the Mwenga distribution area, currently without access to permanent, grid quality electricity. RVE is constructing an additional 180 km of HV and about 60 km of LV network into this rural area, with the aim to supply a further 15 villages and connect a further 3,000 rural customers with grid quality electricity from MHL. The network extension is underway and expects to have all villages connected by November 2017.

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