Zanzibar Progresses on Wind Farm, Aims for Energy Independence

by Adenike Adeodun

Zanzibar is setting the stage for its inaugural wind farm in a significant move to tap into the renewable energy sector. The ambitious initiative recently witnessed potential site inspections by the project’s developers.

This on-ground exploration comes on the heels of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) penned earlier in 2023. The agreement, a union between the Zanzibar government and Aseel Oilfield Services Limited, lays the foundation for this $340 million venture. The green light for construction will flash once a power purchase agreement (PPA) is in place with Zanzibar’s Ministry of Water, Energy, and Minerals.

In tandem with Aseel, Sany Renewable Energy stands at the helm of this groundbreaking endeavour, as reported by ESI Africa.

Diving into Zanzibar’s current energy landscape, the region leans heavily on mainland Tanzania for its grid electricity. However, change is in the air. Zanzibar aims to pivot towards its native solar and wind resources, breaking its mainland energy dependency chains.

While the islands currently lack mini-grids, many households and businesses innovate. How? By generating power via private generators, the Ministry reported.

The forthcoming wind farm carries a bold vision. It aims to churn out electricity with a formidable capacity of at least 20MW.

Joseph Kilangi, the Principal Secretary of the Ministry, illuminated the project’s broader implications. Zanzibar intends to harness its rich wind potential with this wind farm, steering away from fossil fuels. The horizon looks green, promising a path towards environmental sustainability.

But Zanzibar’s vision doesn’t stop at the winds. Another MoU inked with Aseel reflects the island’s intent to probe its mineral wealth. Hassan Shaibu Kaduara, the Water, Energy, and Minerals Minister, underscored the twofold advantage of this exploration. It not only propels Zanzibar’s economic prospects but also fuels its passion for clean energy.

This wind isn’t the only energy change Zanzibar is embracing. Rewind to May, and another landmark agreement surfaces. The pact, forged with Generation Capital Ltd. and Taifa Energy, sketches the blueprint for Zanzibar’s premier large-scale solar power facility. Joseph Kilangi projects the finalisation of the PPA with the Zanzibar Electricity Corporation (Zeco) and the two firms by 2024.

In summary, with its wind and solar aspirations, Zanzibar is poised to become an emblem of renewable energy transformation. As the islands gear up to turn these dreams into tangible realities, they are not just redefining their energy narrative but also setting an example for regions worldwide.

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