Dar es Salaam, Tanzania – Rex Energy (Rex Investment Group), a household name and most trusted local brand in Solar Energy in Tanzania has been awarded a Grant amounting to US$818,000 (Eight Hundred and Eighteen thousand United States Dollars) by the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA). The purpose of the grant is to partially fund the goods and services required for a feasibility study and installation of 80kWp Hybrid Pilot Minigrid in the Lake Victoria Islands.
The results of the feasibility study and the pilot project will allow Rex Energy and its partners to develop a full-scale business model and financing plan necessary to implement the follow-on hybrid solar photovoltaic (PV), battery storage, diesel generator-based distributed mini-grids with a cumulative capacity of 2MW, in the Lake Victoria Islands, Ukerewe District, Tanzania.
The 80 kWp PV-battery-diesel hybrid mini-grid will provide power for up to 400 residential households (~2,400 residents) in the Ukerewe District. About 64 people, bothpermanent and casual, the majority of whom will come from Ukerewe District, will be employed.The follow-on project of ~2 MW would target connecting 40,000 residents and small scale enterprises. A minimum employment of about 1,600 permanent and casual employees will be generated and opportunities for many more downstream jobs will be created. Capacity building of local staff to design, install and maintain hybrid minigrid systems using US expertise from the main contractor will benefit both Rex Energy Ltd and Tanzania in the quest to intensify rural electrification.
Rex Energy has selected MRIGlobal, a US company headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, as the Main Contractor, to carry out the feasibility study and the pilot project and will be supported by subcontractors from both USA and Tanzania.
“In support of the goals of Power Africa, which seeks to increase energy access and promote private sector investment in sub-Saharan Africa, USTDA is pleased to formalize our partnership with Rex Energy,” said USTDA Director Leocadia I. Zak, who signed the grant agreement along with Rex Energy Managing Director, Mr. Francis Kibhisa. “This project is a great example of USTDA’s work to link U.S. industry expertise with the advancement of clean energy in Tanzania.”
Lake Victoria Islands lag behind the rest of the country in accessing electrical power. Only 1% of the Islands’ population has access to electricity. The rest depend on diesel generators and biomass. Indeed the main beneficiaries of this partnership between Rex Energy and USTDA are the rural populations of the Lake Victoria Islands. This is in line with the goals of Power Africa, a USA government-led initiative to increase electricity access across the continent, and the Tanzania Government policy objective of providing modern electric power to transform the social and economic activities of the majority rural population.
“Rex Energy is committed to investing every cent of this grant from USTDA to install a hybrid mini-grid and provide clean energy to off-grid communities in the Lake Victoria Islands, Ukerewe District, Tanzania”, said Mr. Francis Kibhisa, Managing Director of Rex Energy. “With this grant and technical support from MRIGlobal, Rex Energy, the leading local private sector player in Solar Energy provision, once again assumes the leadership to complement Government efforts to transform rural Tanzania through solar powered rural electrification. The mini-grid system is certainly the future of rural electrification in Tanzania and this grant from USTDA has added the required impetus, at the right time, to achieving that future: the pre-paid solar solution to the marginalized rural majority”.
“We are excited to join Rex Energy on this opportunity to provide electrical access to rural populations in Africa,” said Thomas M. Sack, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of MRIGlobal. “MRIGlobal has installed and operated minigrids around the world for more than 10 years. This new program fills a critical need for rural electrification in Tanzania and will ultimately improve lives and help grow the local economy.”
About Rex Energy
Rex Energy is Tanzania’s leading solar energy contractor providing alternative power solutions in Tanzania through its Rex Energy division. It provides unique specialized services tailored to meet the requirements in the country and the region in terms of solar energy and back-up systems. It is a solely indigenous local company founded in Dar es Salaam in 2000 by qualified engineers with 15 yearsexperience in solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and electrical installation works. Rex Investment Limited is a solar specialist contractor rated class one and is registered by Contractors Registration Board of Tanzania (CRB). For more information, visit http://www.rexsolarenergy.com/
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) is an independent U.S. Government foreign assistance agency that is funded by the U.S. Congress with a mission to help companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies. For more information, visit http://www.ustda.gov.
MRIGlobal, an independent research and development organization, delivers solutions in global health, national security and defense, and energy and the environment. The organization performs scientific research, advanced engineering, and program integration and management for clients in industry, government, and academia. Established in 1944 as Midwest Research Institute, MRIGlobal is based in Kansas City, Mo., and operates in nine states and Washington, D.C. MRIGlobal employs more than 500 and manages 2,600-plus workers through management and operations programs with various clients.
MRIGlobal is one of two partners in the Alliance for Sustainable Energy LLC, which manages and operates the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo., for the U.S. Department of Energy.
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