- Published on Wednesday, 04 July 2012 01:45
- Written by DAILY NEWS Reporters
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THE long-awaited solar power project worth 7.5bn/- has taken off in Kigoma, starting with awareness building in communities that will benefit from the project. More equipment for the project are expected to arrive from China later this month.
The Business Development Manager of Rex Energy, Mr Vicent Mgwai, said in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday that the first of its kind solar energy project would benefit 45 secondary schools and ten health centres.
He said when exhibiting energy equipment as the ongoing 36th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF) that the project would also benefit 120 dispensaries, municipal buildings and businesses across 25 village market centres in Kibondo and Kigoma districts.
Rex won the tender for the project with Camco following a move by the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a US aid agency which operates in Tanzania as the Millennium Challenge Account-Tanzania (MCA-T), to award the tender to a local energy company in Tanzania. The local company, Rex won the tender in partnership with Camco, an energy efficiency company.
The Director for Commercial Sales and Marketing at Rex, Ms Christine Kahane, said on Tuesday that the project would involve installation of solar panels at 45 secondary schools, ten health centres, 120 dispensaries, municipal buildings and businesses across 25 village market centres.
He said as part of the project Camco would encourage households in the region to install small-scale solar home systems (SHS) by advising communities on the collective purchase and installation of systems in bulk. This arrangement, known as the "PV Clusters" project format, is already being implemented by Camco in rural communities across the Lake Victoria region of Tanzania.
Currently only 15 per cent of the population in Tanzania have access to electricity. The project is part of the five-year compact grant, extended to the government by the US through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), with the objective of reducing poverty and stimulating economic growth.
According to him, Kigoma Region, mainly Kigoma Town, uses diesel-powered thermal generators with installed capacity of 11MW. However, only 3-4MW is being produced. Solar panels are expected to reduce monthly lighting bill by 50 per cent for rural households, provide 40 times better lighting and avoid health hazards from using kerosene or paraffin lighting.