East Africa’s largest solar plant has started operation in Uganda.Made up of 32,680 photovoltaic panels, the new 10 megawatt farm is the nation’s first grid-connected solar plant and will produce clean, low-carbon, sustainable electricity to 40,000 households, schools and businesses in the region.
The project was developed under the Global Energy Transfer Feed in Tariff (“GET fiT”), a devoted support scheme for renewable energy projects run by Germany’s KfW Development Bank in joint venture with Uganda’s Electricity Regulatory Agency (ERA) and financed by the governments of Norway, Germany, the United Kingdom and the European Union.
The GET FiT programme enables renewable energy sources become more economical and thus more accessible in East Africa.
The inauguration ceremony of project, East Africa’s largest solar plant, was attended by Uganda’s Minister of State for Energy, Ambassadors from the EU, Germany and the Netherlands, key stakeholders from Access Power and EREN RE; TSK, the contractor who constructed the plant; FMO and Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) Corporation The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) as investors, and other chief officials.
The H.E. Ambassador Kristian Schmidt, European Union Head of Delegation to Uganda said in his speech:
“Uganda is a fine place to invest in solar energy. The regulatory structure is favorable and Government truly recognizes Uganda’s energy future must be renewable. It is nice that this is now prompting private sector attention in solar power generation.
The European Union is proud that our grant contribution guarantees the realization of the Soroti Solar Plant, and I trust this is only just the start for lot more to come.”
Situated on a 33 acre plot of land in Soroti District, the power plant has the potential to boost its net production capacity by an additional 20MW of solar energy. At peak construction the plant had more than 120 local workforce involved, as well as engineers recruited and trained by Access Power and EREN RE.
Reda El Chaar, Executive Chairman, Access Power declared,
“We are delighted to have been given the chance to work with our European and Ugandan partners to bring to reality this flagship solar power plant. Soroti raises the bar on what can be attained through teamwork and we look forward to more mutual efforts to enlarge the footprint of clean energy across this strong continent.”