Tanzania launches 150 MW solar tender

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Tanzania’s state-owned power utility the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Ltd (Tanesco) has issued a request for qualification for the construction of several large-scale PV projects with a combined capacity of 150 MW.

Through the tender, Tanesco aims to procure power generation from plants in the regions of Dodoma, Singida, Shinyanga, Mwanza, Simiyu and Iringa over the next two years, according to the document.

The selected projects will be between 20 MW and 50 MW in size, and developers will have to undertake feasibility studies and finance, build, own, operate and transfer the projects. Project proposals must be submitted by October 19.

African nation could obtain all its power from renewables by 2050

If implemented, the tender scheme would be the first real attempt to bring large-scale solar to the sub-Saharan African nation. With a population of around 59 million people and access rates to electricity ranging around 32%, Tanzania has implemented mini-grid solar projects to improve the share of renewables in its energy mix. The last two projects of this kind are being implemented by Tanzanian mini-grid operator Jumeme Rural Power Supply Ltd.

Around 57% of Tanesco’s installed power generation capacity comes from 696.3 MW of thermal gas and diesel power plants, with the remaining 43% represented by 561.8 MW of hydropower. The company operates a further 52.2 MW of off-grid diesel plants.

According to a recent study published by the Institute for Sustainable Futures of the University of Technology Sydney, the Climate Action Network Tanzania, Bread for the World and the World Future Council, Tanzania has the potential to cover its electricity demand entirely from renewables by 2050.