Zanzibar signs agreement for historic solar power plant

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Zanzibar, the semi-autonomous province of Tanzania, has signed an agreement with Mauritius-based Generation Capital Ltd. and Tanzania’s Taifa Energy to build its first large-scale solar power plant, as it seeks to become energy independent. The plant will cost $140 million.

The Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between the state-owned Zanzibar Electricity Corporation (Zeco) and the two companies to develop the 180 megawatts plant will be implemented in phases, according to Zanzibar’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals.

“The project will be built in phases and will commence with the expedited construction of a 30MW solar PV power plant at Bambi, Central District in South Unguja Region, that will be completed in 2024,” Joseph kilangi, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, said in a statement.

Banking on clean energy

Zanzibar currently gets electricity through a 100-megawatt submarine cable from mainland Tanzania, but now wants to generate its own energy as it pursues the development of its tourism sector.

The province is betting on clean energy to achieve that ambition and has increasingly pushed renewable energy projects in the region. In March this year, the government of Zanzibar committed to supply approximately 200 acres of land for the Zanzibar Clean and Renewable Energy Park Project, for instance.

The project, to be developed by Astra Energy Inc., will generate 50MW of clean and renewable energy, largely driven by solar, on Unguja Island, the largest island in the Zanzibar Archipelago and the seat of Zanzibar’s semi-autonomous government.

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