The largest solar plant in East Africa located in Soroti district, Uganda was inaugurated on Monday at a ceremony attended by Ugandan government officials and representatives of key stakeholders in the project.
In a statement jointly signed by Ms Francesca Boothby and Mr Emerson Clarke on behalf of the contractors of the project said electricity generated from the plant would serve 40,000 homes, schools and businesses in the area.
The statement said the 10MW plant made up of 32,680 photovoltaic panels, is the country’s first grid-connected solar plant and will generate clean, low-carbon, sustainable electricity.
It said the power plant has the potential to increase its net output capacity by a further 20MW of solar energy and that at peak construction the plant had over 120 local workers involved, including engineers recruited and trained by Access Power and EREN RE.
The statement also added that the project was developed under the Global Energy Transfer Feed-in Tariff, a dedicated support scheme for renewable energy projects managed by Germany’s KfW Development Bank in partnership with Uganda’s Electricity Regulatory Agency (ERA) and funded by the governments of Norway, Germany, the United Kingdom and the European Union.
The statement added: “The GET FiT programme helps renewable energy sources become more affordable and therefore more accessible in Eastern Africa.’’
The statement said, the US$19 million Soroti Solar Plant is partly funded by the European Union – Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund through the GET FiT Solar Facility equivalent to 8.7 million euros in the form of result-based premium payments per kWh of delivered electricity.
According to the statement, the project is financed by a mix of debt and equity with the senior debt facility being provided by FMO, the Netherlands Development Bank, and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF).