By Mark Kawalya
Uganda is making progress towards achieving its renewable energy objectives. The country signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a UAE company to construct a solar energy plant with a capacity of 150 MW in the eastern region.
Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company PJSC-Masdar will construct the plant in accordance with the agreement that the company signed with Uganda during the climate change summit (COP28) that took place in Dubai, UAE, late this year. This agreement is part of a larger 1GW collaboration and represents a significant milestone in Uganda’s transition to sustainable energy.
The event was presided over by Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja and attended by key figures, including Dr. Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu, Minister of Energy and Mineral Development; Henry Okello Oryem, Minister for Regional Cooperation; and Zaake Kibeedi, Uganda’s Ambassador to the UAE.
“This transformative initiative not only addresses our escalating electricity demand but also enhances electricity accessibility and generates employment opportunities for Ugandans,” Nabbanja stated.
According to Energy Minister Ruth Nankabirwa, there is a need for a grid stability study to guarantee the smooth integration of the project while preventing any damage to the pre-existing grid. Masdar, for its part, confirmed its readiness to provide financial support for the critical stage of the project.
“We are committed to bringing the most technically proficient independent companies by April 2024 to conduct the grid stability studies. These studies, which we have conducted before, will benefit other electricity projects in Uganda,” said Abdulla Zayed, Masdar’s Head of Development Investment (Africa).
The Government of Uganda and Masdar reached a mutual agreement to jointly develop greenfield renewable energy projects, totaling 1 GW, in line with a Memorandum of Understanding that was signed in August 2022. This commitment aligns with Uganda’s strategy to capitalize on its abundant renewable energy resources for sustainable industrialization.
According to an announcement by Ruth Nankabirwa, the project will be set up in Kween district and include the construction of a power transmission line from Mbale to Bulambuli for connection to the national grid.