The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded a grant to US-based renewable energy firm NextGen Solawazi to help develop a 60MW PV plant in Shinyanga, in northwestern Tanzania, a country where just 15% of the population has access to electricity.
The grant will fund a feasibility study to investigate the technical and commercial viability of the plant and to conduct environmental and social impact assessments. The analysis will help NextGen Solawazi to seek implementation financing.
Arizona-based engineering and technical consulting company Clean Energy Consulting and Education, will carry out the feasibility study.
USTDA has already collaborated with NextGen Solawazi in the provision of an engineer to support the building of a 5MW solar plant in Kigoma, also in Tanzania.
Both projects progress the aims of Power Africa, an initiative led by the US government to add clean and efficient electricity generation capacity in sub-Saharan Africa, where only a third of the population has access to electricity.
USTDA director Leocadia Zak said: “USTDA is pleased to continue our work with NextGen Solawazi to develop renewable energy in Tanzania. This project presents a valuable opportunity to draw upon US technical expertise to deploy new energy generation capacity in Shinyanga.”
NextGen Solawazi managing director Mayank Bhargava, said: “Tanzania’s National Strategy for Poverty Reduction and Growth has identified limited power generation capacity and poor electricity access as the most critical issue for development. Energy generation from the solar plant will not only electrify an estimated 210,000 households, but also act as a catalyst to attract other commercial enterprises by providing reliable, plentiful and cheaper electricity.”