Connection status – project under construction
According to a study undertaken by Multiconsult in 2017, the delayed implementation of critical power evacuation infrastructure could lead to potential deemed energy obligations estimated at USDM 30 per year for selected projects. The table below highlights the status of grid connection for different GET FiT projects and the associated level of risk for deemed energy if evacuation infrastructure is not fast-tracked.
Table 3: Status of interconnection of GET FiT projects still under construction
New approaches needed to address grid connection risks?
GET FiT Uganda’s approach to addressing the grid connection risks has mainly been to assist Government agencies to the extent possible in planning for the required infrastructure and timelines relating to the projects. Continuous efforts have been made to push progress and facilitate improved planning and coordination. Additional funding has also been solicited for implementation of grid infrastructure projects. While these efforts will contribute to reducing the level of deemed energy generation across the portfolio, the overall risk remains high due to extensive delays, as outlined above.
Based on the experiences from GET FiT Uganda, future roll-out of similar programmes should discuss and consider alternative approaches to addressing and mitigating grid connection risks. One GET FiT developer has already taken initiative towards soliciting financing and undertaking construction of local network reinforcements far beyond the regulated responsibility of the developer. While this may facilitate a more timely connection, successful delivery of power to end consumers will eventually require satisfactory grid planning and operations at a regional or national level. Adequate performance of government agencies is vital and cannot be bypassed. Therefore, mapping and identification of alternative models will require careful consideration of the existing regulatory framework and long term development targets for the sector.
Nonetheless, there should be ways to adjust current arrangements in a given country to address grid connection more efficiently. Shifting more responsibility for construction of grid connection to developers might be one way to reduce pressure on government agencies and associated delays, without relaxing the need for sector-wide planning and coordination.