4MW of solar power is set to be connected to the national grid in Uganda. This is a after Busitema University in Busia district announced plans to officially commission its solar plant before the end of year.
Busitema University Vice Chancellor Prof Paul Waako made the announcement and said the 4MV grid connected solar plant at the main campus is the first of its kind to be undertaken by a university nationwide.
Benefits of the solar plant
The solar plant will boost the country’s solar energy production to 54MW and also save the university’s power bills that have been exorbitant over the years. Besides easing access to energy, the plant will be used as a training ground for students in renewable energy.
“There is no industry that is not dependent on power supply. As industrialization is fronted to develop the country, input of our solar power plant becomes a key contribution to national development,” said Prof Paul Waako.
“Once we have our own source, it means we are becoming self-reliant. Our operations have been affected in the past with due to unreliable electricity supply,” he added.
The project was supervised by the Egyptian Ministry of Electricity in partnership with Uganda’s Ministry of Energy. Arab Renewable Energy Company (ARECO) and Arab Organisation for Industrialisation (AOI) were the main project contractors. They worked with local labour and materials which in return boosted employment in the region.
This is due to the high operational costs of the existing and planned thermal power plants and the failure to develop other alternative electricity sources such as co-generation, wind and geothermal potential sources in the country.