NPO to Build Off-grid Solar Plant in Tanzania

To power corn mill

2019/08/28 01:50
Sousuke Kudou, technical writer
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Ecoplan Fukui (a nonprofit organization (NPO) based in Fukui City) will install the "Pre-Tanzania Citizen Community Power Plant" solar power generation (PV) facility at a workshop of a Japan-based NPO in Dodoma (capital of Tanzania in East Africa).

Ecoplan Fukui will carry out installation work on about September 10, 2019, and engage in a verification test. It will build an off-grid community power plant in a non-electrified region near Dodoma to supply electricity on a trial basis.

While there are many villages that have no plan to be electrified in Tanzania, the penetration rate of mobile phones in the country is allegedly higher than 50%. And some residents make a round trip of 15km on foot for charging, TV viewing and grinding corn.

In the verification test, Ecoplan Fukui will install 0.72kW of solar panels and use electricity generated to power the motor of a corn mill. The mill can also be used for grinding hibiscus. After conducting a milling test for a week and accumulating data, it will use electricity generated in the NPO's building throughout the year and collect data.

For initial investment, Ecoplan Fukui will call for investment from citizens of Fukui City, etc and, in return, send local products whose value is about 1/3 that of the investment in Japan to them. Moreover, to offset more than the amount of electricity generated in Tanzania (720kWh per year), the NPO will call for power-saving places that introduce energy-saving equipment.

Through those measures, Ecoplan Fukui will promote the exchange of people and culture and aim to realize an off-grid community power plant in non-electrified areas.