Who, What & Where

  • Studer Innotec SA

  • Electrification of the Mpale village

  • Mpale, Tanzania

The Company

The good experience and the reliable performance of Studer products in similar projects by TTA (Trama TecnoAmbiental), Ensol Tanzania's technical partner, made their choice easy and enabled them to implement all the specific parameters to achieve the funconality and flexibility required from the system.

The Challenge

In Tanzania 3 out of 4 people live in rural areas where the electrification rate is below 15%. The vast country-side is sparsely populated, making it favourable for off-grid electrification as grid extensionmay not be feasible. The 3,000 inhabitants of the remotely located Mpale village in the Korogwe district had always depended on fossil fuels such as kerosene and diesel generators to provide lighting and electricity for its 730 households. A hybrid solar mini-grid helped them achieve sustainable, reliable and cleaner energy services.

Renewable Solution

After overcoming initial difficulties in transporting the equipment to the village, the solar generation plant was installed. The mini-grid has a PV generation of 48 kWp with OPzS battery storage and a 50kVA diesel generator as back-up. The electricity generated by the PV system is distributed through a 2 km long aerial line installed in the village and finally delivered to the population through a service-based tariff scheme. There are electricity dispensers installed at each user's premises, allowing the systemto control energy dispensing and also limit the current.

The solar installation supplies electricity to the village health centre, the largest households, places of worship (a church and a mosque) and small businesses.Amanagement model has also been developed, ensuring the operation and management of the systemalong the project life through the user tariffs.

Project Financing and Costs

Ensol Tanzania Ltd is a renowned supplier of highest quality solar products and a provider of advanced technical support for solar projects.

Trama TecnoAmbiental (TTA) is an engineering company specialised in distributed generation through renewable energies and rural electrification.

UNCDF (United Nations Capital Development Fund) makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world's 47 least developed countries (LDCs). Theywere instrumental in providing technical support and advice for this project.

Project Outcome

The Mpale village now enjoys 24/7 access to reliable electrical power. Their vital health centre is now in a position to supply an uninterrupted service and students are able to more easily study during the night-time hours. The modern energy access stimulates the local economic and social development by creating local business opportunities and reducing the dependence on noisy and polluting fossil fuels like diesel and kerosene.

Next Steps

There are plans to expand the project and to have a total of 250 households connected to the mini-grid by June 2018.