Project Developer: Mwenga Hydro Ltd.
Project Status: completed (May 2020)
The main reason, why this project was developed, was a power supply constraint for our constantly growing rural network (and imbedded within, increasing household and SME electricity consumption), specifically during the dry season, when water flow levels are at their lowest. At this same time (during the dry season) the wind in this specific area blows the hardest and having electricity generated from a wind power site (close to our rural network and feeding into it) hence helps to compensate for the lack of power, while stabilising our and the TANESCO grid during this season.
The Mwenga Wind Project has been developed as a private, renewable energy infrastructure project, consisting of an initial 2.4 MW of wind capacity, which is used to balance the growing needs of the Mwenga Hydro rural electrification network, as well as promote the further growth and development of rural electrification throughout this area of Tanzania. The expected maximum energy output of this project is about 7 GWh per annum.
The project is located nearby the village Usokami, a village situated in the Kihansi Basin (Iringa region, Southern Tanzania) an area in which economy is dominated by agricultural activities, with the timber industry being the largest, plus various subsistence farming activities. The actual site was chosen for its high wind speeds relative to other possible locations nearby, as well as its close proximity to the Mwenga network (expansion into the Kihansi Basin), as Usokami is one of the villages connected under this project. The wind power comes from 3 x 800 kw Enercon wind turbines (as the mountainous terrain and poor road conditions in Tanzania favour smaller turbines that are easier to transport and erect).
RVE has closed a 1,2 M US$ Mezzanine loan from REPP (https://repp.energy), which has been critical to concluding the financial structure for the project, while providing also a necessary risk reduction mechanisms to best manage the anticipated rapid evolution of our associated growing rural distribution markets.
As of end of May 2020, the turbine errection process has been finalised, with commissioning in July 2020. This project is now part of East Africa’s first hybrid wind and hydro development, providing clean and grid quality power to about 100,000 people living in the project area.