The EU And Jumeme Inaugurate Solar Mini-Grid On Lake Victoria Island

Jumeme and the European Union delegation in Tanzania and its project partners have celebrated the launch of a solar mini-grid on Mulumo island on Lake Victoria.

The facility is one of 11 mini-grids to be commissioned on 10 islands on the lake this month.

Jumeme Rural Power Supply Ltd, with the European Union delegation in Tanzania and its project partners, has celebrated the launch of a solar mini-grid on Mulumo island on Lake Victoria. The facilityis one of 11 mini-grids to be commissioned on 10 islands on the lake this month, constituting the first roll-out phase of the “Micro Power Economy, Tanzania Roll-out” project co-funded by the EU.

Over the last 12 months, Jumeme has constructed more than 180km of low and medium voltage distribution grids, electrifying 20 villages with a total population of more than 80,000 people and providing 24/7 electricity services based on solar-hybrid power systems to houses, schools, hospitals, businesses and entrepreneurs.

Ukerewe district commissioner Cornel Magembe attended the inauguration along with a representative of the European Union delegation in Tanzania and officials from the Ministry of Energy, the Rural Energy Agency, the Energy and Water Utilities Authority and local government representatives.

A statement released to mark the ceremony said: “The government of Tanzania is at the forefront of supporting rural electrification” via partners such as Jumeme. Having witnessed Jumeme’s work in the district of Ukerewe, Magembe said: “The citizens have embraced electricity and this has brought about a lot of positive change in their lives; the local health center has grown into a better facility with greater capacity; there is clean water available and a lot of business opportunities have arisen … in line with the government’s initiative of industrializing Tanzania.”

Through representative Francis Songela – the EU head of development cooperation José Correia Nunes, said: “Access to energy is a critical element to empower people, especially women and youth. Ensuring affordable, reliable clean and modern energy is a key area of European Union engagement with the Tanzanian government and the private sector. Sustainable energy, especially in rural areas, is central to addressing the challenge of poverty reduction and ensuring inclusive, equitable and climate friendly economic growth.”

Jumeme aims to build and operate solar-hybrid mini-grids in remote settlements of Tanzania with a total budget of €16 million. The project is co-funded by the European Union Energy Facility for a total €7.4 million. The Rural Energy Agency, through its result-based financing scheme, has also provided grant funding to the project and the shareholders of Jumeme have contributed equity.

“Jumeme and its partners are doing a great job in providing electricity to rural villages; we at REA applaud the effort, especially having experienced the challenging logistics Jumeme’s team undergoes in these project areas,” said Advera Mwijage, vice director for marketing development and technologies at the REA. “The unique business model of productive use applied by Jumeme is an initiative supported by REA 100% due to its ability of improving … rural economies, as opposed to providing electricity for lighting purposes only.’’

Having run a pilot system on Ukara island since 2016, Jumeme will operate the 11 additional mini-grids across Lake Victoria on the islands of Goziba, Kerebe, Kasenyi, Mulumo, Rukuba, Kibumba, Maisome, Mahaiga and Irugwa. In parallel to the first roll out the construction of an additional 11 mini-grids on the shores of Lake Tanganyika is under way. These mini-grids are also co-financed by the European Union and will be finalized at the beginning of 2020, making Jumeme energy service provider to more than 170,000 people.

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