RP Global, an independent renewable energy developer and majority shareholder of JUMEME Rural Power Supply Ltd., announced that construction of the first phase of its ambitious solar-hybrid mini-grid project in Tanzania was in progress. In this first scaling phase, 11 new mini-grids are currently being constructed to bring 24/7 electricity supply to a population of more than 80,000 people.
Built on a cluster of islands in Lake Victoria, these independent solar-hybrid mini-grids, equipped with battery storage technology, will electrify 20 villages. This project was enabled by the European Union, who provided co-financing through the ACP- EU Energy Facility. Commissioning is scheduled to take place in June of this year.
In the upcoming second scaling phase of the project, JUMEME aims to build up to 11 more mini-grids to electrify 23 additional villages, bringing energy services to a population of over 160,000 people. This project extension is well underway, with consents and permits already secured and preparations for the implementation taking place.
Leo Schiefermüller, Director of RP Global Africa, commented on the development conditions in the country: “Besides the existing legal framework and the favourable solar resources, our decision to invest in Tanzania is a direct consequence of the low electrification rate in the country. Solar hybrid mini-grids are the least-cost electrification option, especially in rural areas and the pay-as-you-go business model of JUMEME makes electricity consumption for the customer affordable.”
Apart from the obvious improvement of living conditions, bringing power to these off-grid communities will set a full virtuous circle in motion; JUMEME’s first mini-grid system, which is in operation since early 2016 confirms the great potential for increased rural economic growth when clean energy starts powering people’s lives and business ventures. This is especially true for women, who are provided with new means to gain economic independence by founding electricity-reliant businesses, such as hair salons or bakeries. In addition, access to electricity will enable the installation of irrigation systems and water pumps, thereby reducing the adverse impact of draughts. It will also improve the production of food and its storage.
“Many of the remote communities in Tanzania are still without access to electricity. So far, our regions of operation show some of the lowest rural electrifications rates in Tanzania, ranging between 3% – 5%. In these areas, the population is widely dispersed across numerous distant villages and small towns making it hard to connect them through the national grid. By 2023, JUMEME could supply high quality and reliable electricity to 1 million Tanzanians, making this company the largest mini-grid operator in Sub-Sahara Africa, if the political and regulatory situation improves for investors” concluded Schiefermüller.
The JUMEME venture was made possible through financial support from the European Union under the ACP-EU Energy Facility, and REA, Tanzania’s Rural Energy Agency.
JUMEME – Rural Power Supply Ltd. is a fully integrated energy service provider, developing off- and on-grid renewable energy projects in Tanzania. JUMEME was founded in 2014 as a joint-venture between INENSUS, a leading German company specialized in development, technology and consultancy services on rural mini-grids, Terra Projects, an Austrian specialist in renewable energy project development, and St. Augustine University of Tanzania, an independent higher learning institution based in Mwanza. In 2016, RP Global, an Austrian developer, investor and operator of renewable energy projects, joined JUMEME and being now the majority shareholder.
The modular design of the power system allows for a constant extension with growing electricity demand, making it possible to supply electricity to any existing or future customers such as shops, workshops and small to medium sized industrial users, in addition to households and public infrastructure. This enables customers to make full use of their development potentials while creating fair returns for JUMEME and its investors, thus ensuring long-term viability and scalability of the approach for the benefit of all parties involved.
To ensure successful implementation of the projects, JUMEME has joined forces with several experienced project partners and which are amongst others: Energy 4 Impact, an NGO providing energy advisory services to micro, small and medium energy enterprises, the German Agency for International Development (GIZ), and Excel Hort Consult Ltd., a Ugandan agribusiness and development company.
About RP Global
RP Global is a developer and independent power producer that draws its expertise from over 30 years of experience in the renewable energy sector. As a developer, investor and operator, RP Global’s focus is on hydro, wind and solar PV projects. The company is focusing on flexibility, innovative solutions, and projects of the highest quality, with a special focus on all E & S matters. RP Global has cooperated with and has had many successful partnerships with investors and lenders, such as the IFC/World Bank, the EBRD, Mirova/Natixis, the Marguerite Fund and the Bank of Georgia, among others.
RP Global has constructed more than 40 power plants whilst retaining 16 plants under operation or construction. RP Global’s international team is currently active in Europe, South America, and Africa: Austria, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, France, Poland; Georgia; Chile, Peru, Argentina, Colombia and Tanzania are the countries RP Global operates in. The headquarters are in Vienna, Austria and Madrid, Spain. http://www.rp-global.com