Tanzania’s first-ever wind farm, the Mwenga project has officially been completed after being under construction from April in 2018. The 2.4 MW project that was developed by Enercon, a German manufacturer, required a US$1.2 that was granted but the United Kingdom Government-funded Renewable Performance Platform and is expected to be connected to the already present grid network that provides electricity across the country. The wind farm that is found in the Iringa region of Tanzania consists of three turbines that will provide additional power to the area’s grid that also receives electricity from the existing 4MW hydropower plant that is owned by Rift Valley Corporation, a corporation that deals with the development of renewable energies.
The hydropower plant has been providing electricity to the area for eight years and has enabled the country to provide electricity to nearly 5,000 homes. The additional power from the wind farm is expected to increase that number to 6,500 homes and business once operational.
Camco Clean Energy (Camco), agreed to extend a US$1.2m subordinated loan from REPP, which was designed to maintain equity returns at a reasonable level in the context of a cost over-run and was approved by REPP’s investment committee in June 2019. Camco and REPP were not the only shareholders in the project: given its position as REPP’s sole donor, the United Kingdom Government was also heavily involved in the wind farm’s development. REPP is supported with US$183m funding from the UK’s International Climate Finance – a government-backed commitment to assist Global South countries when facing climate change challenges – through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
The Mwenga wind farm is not an isolated case of renewable energy investment in Tanzania but is actually part of a bigger plan to help the country transition to greener energy sources. Vision 2025 is a general development plan established by the Tanzania Planning Commission in 1999 “to graduate the country from a least developed country to a middle-income country with a high level of human development by 2025”.