ERA - Electricity Regulatory Authority

Uganda on Course to Commission East Africa’s Largest Grid-Connected Solar Plant

Uganda is set to welcome what promises to be the largest Solar power plant in East Africa, with the expected commissioning of the 10 MW Access Uganda Solar Limited photovoltaic plant in Soroti District, in October 2016. This was revealed by the Chief Executive Officer of the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA), Dr. Benon M. Mutambi, while inspecting the plant in Eastern Uganda, along with Members of Parliament on the Natural Resources Committee and the Board of ERA.

Hon. Wilberforce Yaguma, the Member of Parliament for Kashari County North (Mbarara District) speaking on behalf of the Natural Resources Committee of Parliament expressed gratitude to ERA and Development Partners for their effort in boosting Uganda’s electricity generation capacity. He pointed out the need for the communities neighboring the Solar power plant and other power plants across the country to benefit from the projects in their areas.

The 10 MW Access Uganda Solar PV panels have been built on 33.8 acres of land with eight transformers. Four hundred thirty inverters have been installed for purposes of converting the direct current from the photovoltaic solar panels into the current that will be fed into the National Grid. A transmission line to evacuate the power from the plant has also been constructed using concrete poles, connecting to the Lira-Opuyo Sub-station in Soroti District.

The Members of the Natural Resources Committee of Parliament, the Board and Management of ERA have since 22nd August 2016 been inspecting power projects at construction stage, as well as electricity installations in Western and Eastern Uganda. In Western Uganda, the delegation visited the Hoima Sub-Station, Kabalega (Hydromax) Hydropower plant, Waki Hydropower plant, Nkusi Hydropower plant, the Hoima-Busunjju lines, Nkenda Sub-station, Rwimi Hydropower plant, and Nyamwamba Hydropower plant.

The projects/installations visited during the tour of Eastern Uganda were the Namugongo Sub-station, the Kakira co-generation plant, Jinja Industrial Sub-station, Tororo Sub-station, Siti I Hydropower plant, Lira-Opuyo Sub-station, and the Access Uganda Solar Limited plant. Notably, six (6) of the seven (7) electricity generation projects that were inspected in both Western and Eastern Uganda are supported by the Global Energy Transfer for Feed-in-Tariff (GET FiT) Program, which was launched in 2013 by the Government of Uganda in partnership with Development Partners who offered funding worth 90 Million Euros towards the program.

The visits served to appraise the Members of Parliament of the developments in the Electricity Supply Industry; and for the Project Developers, the inspections provided an opportunity for them to showcase what has been accomplished following the award of Licences by ERA for the generation and sale of electricity. The communities in the areas visited used the inspections as a platform to raise electricity-related issues affecting them, for the attention of ERA and other concerned stakeholders. Remarkable progress was observed especially in relation to construction of the power projects that are all expected to be commissioned by 2018. At the Sub-stations, completed and planned upgrades to improve reliability and quality of supply offered to electricity consumers were on course.

The inspections were as well attended by the area Members of Parliament and Woman Representatives in the Districts in which the power projects/installations are located. Also in attendance were the District Leadership, including the Resident District Commissioners, Local Council V Chairmen, District Internal Security Officers, and Local Council III Chairmen.

Last Updated on Monday, 05 September 2016 16:43