Africa Updates: Uganda Gets $2.5 Million Solar project & Siemens Launches DES in Africa

The Renewable Energy space of Africa is seeing some interesting developments. Commercial and industrial off-takers are becoming the main driver for the energy transition in Africa.

The nation called the pearl of Africa, Uganda’s solar energy generation capacity connected to the national grid will soon hit the 50MW mark this year as new RE plants are coming up within the nation.

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Uganda Gets Unique U.S.$25 Million Solar Power Project

The latest addition of solar-generated energy to the national grid is the 24 MW Kabulasoke pilot solar power plant in Gomba District that was commissioned on 9th January, by President Museveni.

UK based firm-Great Lakes Africa Energy (GLAE), Xsabo Group of Companies and Dr David Alobo, a Ugandan scientist based in Germany developed and installed the $24.5 million Kabulasoke power plant. This is the largest plant in the East African region.

It is also the third to be installed in Uganda after Soroti Solar plant and Tororo solar power plant, each producing 10MW.

The Chief Executive Officer of Electricity Regulatory Authority, Ms Ziria Tibalwa Waako, revealed that another 10MW solar plant is near commissioning in Mayuge District. These four will contribute 50MW of solar energy to the national grid.

Once officially commissioned, the Kabulasoke project, which is already connected to the national grid, according to GLAE, will serve a population of more than five million in rural Uganda, who currently rely on kerosene; among other non-renewable energy sources while affording more than 21,000 tonnes of carbon savings.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony of the Kabulasoke Pilot Solar Power Plant, President Museveni said the government has plans to extend both hydro-electric and solar power to all sub-counties countrywide.

“We are planning to extend electricity to all sub-counties. Some sub-county headquarters already have and what is remaining is to extend power to the villages,” Mr Museveni said.

Siemens launches end – to end Distributed Energy System (DES) for Africa

Siemens launched a one of a kind, end-to-end Distributed Energy System (DES) as a solution to tackle Africa’s energy transition, at its headquarters in Midrand, Johannesburg.

The system is built around a 1 MW PV-solar plant positioned throughout the Siemens Park campus to take full advantage of the African sun. Captured solar power is then integrated into the SICAM Microgrid controller. Excess energy is stored in a 140KWh SIESTORAGE installation with the entire system monitored, visualized and controlled via the IoT (Internet of Things) energy platform, MONET.

This is the first Siemens DES solution, one of its kind in Africa and in line with the company’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 through energy efficiency, decentralized energy systems, and the purchasing of clean electricity.

The project provides Siemens a solution that helps them save energy, cut costs, lower carbon emissions and at the same time ensure uninterrupted power. “Microgrids and Distributed Energy Systems are the ideal solutions for Africa because they’re designed for a specific purpose, be it communities or industry,” CEO, Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa, Sabine Dall’Omo says. “But it also means you can have diverse power supplies, such as- solar or wind during the day, then switch over to other forms of generation like biomass when the conditions for renewables are poor.”

Picture credit: Siemens, Twitter

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