The Second Grid-connected Solar Power Plant in Uganda Starts Operations
On September 3, 2017, the developer Tororo Solar North Ltd. (majority-owned by the multinational company Building Energy, a global integrated independent power producer) announced the commencement of commercial operations of the Tororo Solar Power Plant, located just outside Tororo Town in Tororo District, Eastern Uganda. The 10 MW plant (32,240 solar modules on 14 hectares) became the second grid-connected solar power plant in Uganda. The Tororo Solar Power Plant will produce around 16 GWh each year.
Figure 1: Tororo Solar Power Plant. (photo: Building Energy)
Figure 2: Tororo Solar Power Plant during construction. (photo: Multiconsult)
It took approximately eight months to build and commission the 10 MW plant. During construction 350 jobs were created on site, of which 300 jobs were filled by Ugandan citizens. Four permanent jobs have since been created to assist with the operation and maintenance of the facility with training undertaken on a range of issues.
The Developer and EPC Contractor placed considerable priority on environmental and social (E&S) compliance and performed well in this respect. The E&S challenges were only moderate at this project site, but the approach and performance on E&S issues is among the best in the GET FiT portfolio and a good example for E&S practice in Uganda.
The Solar Power Plant is connected to one of Uganda’s largest electricity substations (close to large load centers), in order to reduce electricity loss that can occur with long-distance transmission.
The plant is generating largely according to forecasted output, and has already produced approximately 5.9 GWh of clean energy in 2017.
Figure 3: Tororo Solar Power Plant during construction. (photo: Multiconsult)
Figure 4: Tororo Solar Power Plant. (photo: Building Energy)
The inauguration ceremony on October 16, 2017, was attended by Uganda’s Minister of State for Mineral Development, H.E. Peter Lokeris, together with; EU Ambassador, Attilio Pacifici; German Ambassador, Dr. Albrecht Conze and Norwegian Ambassador Susan Eckey, as well as representatives of other stakeholders like ERA and KfW.
Figure 5: Minister of State for Mineral Development H.E. Peter Lokeris (right) and Matteo Brambilla, Managing Director Building Energy South Africa (left) during the inauguration. (photo: Building Energy)