28 March 2017, Brussels/Dar es Salaam
NextGen Solawazi is set up to develop, construct, operate and maintain a 5MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant as an Independent Power Producer under the Small Power Producer Program in Tanzania. The solar plant is to be connected to the isolated mini-grid of Kigoma region to support the strategic rural electrification efforts of the Government of Tanzania under the SE4ALL initiative of the United Nations and European Union. The project is (one of) the first solar PV utilities supplying power to an isolated grid at this scale in the region and its success will be an accelerator to future replication of this type of projects in the region. The solar plant will replace and complement diesel generators, having a great positive impact not only on the environment but also on the cost price to the off-taker, the national power utility of Tanzania. Lowering the cost price for such isolated grids will make it more attractive to expand the distribution network to more remote areas.
ElectriFI will provide US$ 64,015 in development financing to upgrade the engineering assessment and grid load study that seeks to verify the technical viability of the project. This is the first time this type of detailed technical study is being conducted for a legacy diesel–modern PV solar plant connected to an isolated mini-grid. The study report can also be used as a reference or basis for other similar studies in the near future. If ElectriFI would provide more funding to the Solawazi project, this development financing will be converted to a first down payment under a larger financing agreement.
The Project Developer
NextGen Solawazi is a Tanzanian private sector organization focused on building and operating several large scale solar PV power plants connected to mini- and main grids in remote and rural Tanzania. The objective of NextGen Solawazi is to bring private sector investment and funding from commercial banks to help reduce poverty and accelerate development in remote and rural areas – by providing plentiful, reliable and more affordable electricity and reduce dependence on expensive fossil fuels. These solar power plants are based on a hybrid model integrating modern PV generation with existing legacy diesel plants. The company is an official private sector partner of US Government’s Power Africa Initiative and is committed to scaling up the model across several Sub-Saharan African and small island nations.