By Gift Briton

Communities and businesses in the remote parts of north-western Uganda are set to benefit from clean and affordable power supply following a commitment of approximately US$19 million to support a new solar project designed to provide energy in the region.

At the ongoing climate change Conference of Parties (COP 28) in Dubai, the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), a Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) company, finalized its financial commitment to a new 20MW solar PV project aiming to provide energy to the most remote and underserved regions in north-western Uganda.

The project is set to deliver significant climate impact by reducing reliance on the expensive and highly polluting thermal (Heavy Fuel Oil) power currently used to service peak demand in the West Nile region.

The solar project involves the development, construction, and operation of a 24MWp/20MWac solar PV power plant in Ombachi, around 400km from Kampala in the north-western part of the country, bordering Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan.

Uganda has one of the lowest electricity access rates in sub-Saharan Africa and the West Nile region is one of the regions in the country with the most acute need for quality infrastructure development.

Demand for electricity in West Nile is estimated to be around 13-15 MW, but it currently can supply less than 7MW. The region will be connected to the national grid for the first time in 2024, enabling communities and businesses currently grappling with frequent load shedding and blackouts to become more productive and resilient. The Ituka power plant will play a transformative role in enabling historically underserved communities.