French government finances 150 MW solar project in Tanzania with €130m


From pv magazine France

The Tanzanian government, on 11 June, signed a €130 million loan agreement with the French Development Agency (AFD) to finance the construction of the 150 MWp solar power plant in Kishapu.

Located in the Shinyanga region in northern Tanzania, the project will be implemented in two phases, between March 2022 and March 2023.

According to the press release issued by the AFD, the project aims to increase the security of electricity supply and enable Tanzania’s state-owned power utility, the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Ltd (Tanesco), to achieve the objective of diversifying its sources of electricity and energy production with a mix of renewable energies.

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It should also reduce dependence on hydropower during peak hours, as well as during the long dry season. The solar power plant will also supply with power, unspecified, adjacent gold mines in the Shinyanga region. The feasibility study for the project had already been supported by AFD, with a grant of €700,000.

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 the International Renewable Energy Agency, Tanzania had an installed solar power of only 26 MW at the end of 2020. Currently, Tanzania has an access rate to electricity of around 32.7%, with approximately 7.7 million people living without power.

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