Rift Valley Energy’s maiden wind power plant launch due September

08Dec 2018
Prosper Makene
Mufindi
The Guardian
Rift Valley Energy’s maiden wind power plant launch due September

The RVE which is currently undertaking construction work of the U$4.3m wind farm in Mufindi district of Iringa region will add 2.4 megawatts onto the national grid through Mwenga sub-station in the district. 

Construction workers at the ongoing RVE’s wind power plant project at Kibengu village of Mufindi district in Iringa region. Photo: Prosper Makene due September

RVE Tanzania Group Manager, Engineer Joel Gomba said the company has secured the necessary commercial financing to meet the balance of the total project costs of U$4.3m from a Regional Development Bank to invest in the wind farm project, which will be the first of its kind in the country. 

“Construction work of the wind farm power project is going on well and assuming that we get the remaining government permissions required in time, we expect to launch it during the third quarter of 2019,” Eng Gomba said. 

“Because this is a government agenda to electrify rural areas, and this project will provide the much needed additional generation capacity to our rural customers during the dry season when our water levels are low, we believe everything will be acceptable in the near future,” he added confidently. 

He noted that RVE Renewable Energy Infrastructure Projects will provide full time, grid quality green power to its customers and thus supporting regional industrialization. 

“We follow the A-B-C customer approach. A for Anchor (Tanesco), B for Business (local tea or wood industry) and C for Customer (meaning rural individuals), usually grid connected, providing network stability at the far end of the Tanesco grid, while minimizing total network losses,” he noted. 

“We provide attractive tariffs for rural customers which are below Tanesco rates, and we also provide support for them to invest in commercial equipments (productive use of electricity),” he underlined. 

On his part, Kibengu Secondary School Headmaster, Innocent Mgoda paid tribute to RVE and REA for coming up with the wind farm project, saying it will transform student lives and performance in examinations. 

“With electricity supply, students will be able to read and learn overnight especially when preparing for examinations,” Mgoda noted. 

One of the students at Mgoda’s school, Fredrick Mwakasuka seconded his Headmaster by pointing out that once wind power is generated and supplied to their school, life will change completely. “With the first wind farm in the country in our vicinity, we will also learn practically on what wind power generation means as part of Geography subject,” Mwakasuka said. 

He added: “Definitely, the wind farm will encourage us to learn science subjects but will also enable us prove theories learnt in class.” 

The RVE is a majority owned subsidiary of Rift Valley Holdings (RVH), one of the largest agri-business groups in Africa. 

Over the past eight years, the RVE has established 4 MW of operational hydro generation capacity, in addition to 360 kms of licensed distribution assets, serving a population of 65,000 living in 34 villages and commercial customers in Mufindi district through Mwenga Hydro and Rural Electrification Project. 

Tanzania’s mid-term plan is to diversify electricity sources to natural gas, solar, wind, geothermal, and coal to reduce dependence on hydro and gas fired electricity.