Six solar powered mini grids commissioned in underserved areas of Kasese, Rubirizi districts

The Ministry of Energy and World Wide Fund-Uganda Country Office have commissioned constructed six solar powered mini grids to connecting six underserved communities in Kasese and Rubirizi districts (PHOTO /UG Standard).

Six solar mini grids gave been commissioned in Kasese and Rubirizi districts as a means of increasing the share of renewable energy in Uganda’s energy mix.

The commissioned solar mini grids currently connecting 960 customers in the two districts have the capacity to generate 170.625KW of electricity with Kasenyi generating 39KW, Kisebere – 19.5KW, Kihuramu – 19.5 KW, Kashaka – 29KW, Kazinga – 29KW, and Kisenyi – 34.12KW.

The mini grids were commissioned by the Minister of State for Minerals Hon Peter Lokeris in an event held in Kasenyi in the presence of a representative from the European Union which funded the project, WWF team the implementers, representatives from the Energy Ministry, Rural Electrification Programme, Electricity Regulatory Authority and community members.

While giving his remarks, Lokeris noted that the ministry is considering Mini-grids mainly powered by renewable energy resources especially for remote places with potential for productive use of electricity such as trading centers and island communities as way of accelerating energy access.

According to the minister, renewable energy has the potential to enhance energy security and reliability; generate income and create employment; enable substantial foreign exchange savings by reducing dependence on imported fuels and its attendant price volatility, and mitigate climate change as it has minimal adverse effects on the environment.

The minister called upon the technical teams to sensitize and train the beneficiaries in operating and maintaining the installed systems.

He asked the communities to jealously safe guard the installations to curb the threat of vandalism.

Mr. David Duli, the WWF Country Director hands over one of the mini grid facilities to State Minister for Minerals Hon Peter Lokeris (PHOTO /UG Standard)

David Duli, the WWF Country Director said the overall objective is to improve rural livelihoods and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions through widespread access to clean and renewable energy.

He says the project has three components including mini-grid, home solar and institutional solar systems.

Duli added that the off-grid Renewable Energy solutions will produce energy for lighting, commercial and other productive uses to business and families.

He pointed out that as implementers of the project, they ensured that  even the isolated schools, health units and homes that are not connected to these six solar mini grids also obtained standalone solar systems for lighting and powering of low power consuming equipment.

He noted that with solar generated electricity, rural communities now have the ability to transform their livelihoods and promote economic development.

Programme manager of the project, Edna Nyamwaka said the six mini-grid solar power connections in the two districts will generate a total capacity of 170.625KW.

Asiimwe Julius, a village leader attributed the business growth improved services and security in the area to the recently connected electricity.

Several local people have been connected on mini grids

For example, a one Robert Kirungi who owns a petro station in Kasenyi was able to upgrade his station shifting from manual operation which enabled him cut costs of employing many people at a time.

Koshendra Bhatt of Sagewood Limited, the company hired to install the grid said that with proper maintenance and management, the each stand alone mini grid system has a lifespan of over 20 years.

Koshendra Bhatt of Sagewood Limited, the company hired to install the grid said that with proper maintenance and management, the each stand alone mini grid system has a lifespan of over 20 years.

The main funder was the European Union and co-financing by the Government of Uganda, Swedish International Agency (SIDA), Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), Norwegian Agency for Development (NORAD) and ProTecho.

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