President Yoweri Museveni has commissioned a sh91.4b solar power plant project to benefit rural households, schools and hospitals in the districts of Gomba, Butambala and parts of greater Masaka. The 20MW Kabulasoke project is the first in a portfolio of five solar power projects of the Xsabo Group in various parts of Uganda for a total capacity of 150MW and a total investment volume of $200m (about sh747b).
The solar park which was established by Xsabo Group investors is located at Namulasa village, Butiti parish, Kabulasoke sub-county in Gomba district. The solar plants which will be established in other parts of the country will enable Ugandans access electricity at a low cost.
“I want to thank you for this great investment. Solar energy use has no limitations. Its only challenge is when the weather is cloudy,” President Museveni said.
Museveni, who was visiting Gomba for the second time in a fortnight, noted that with access to both solar and hydropower, Ugandans will be able to achieve the economic development agenda. The President said the Government has embarked on the extension of electricity to different parts of the country starting with sub-counties and villages outside urban centres.
At Kabulasoke, the President implored the Xsabo energy developers to ensure they subsidise the cost of their power to at least eight cents, to enable Ugandans access power to run their businesses. The President, however, urged Ugandans to not only rely on enterprises that require electricity, but also engage in activities, such as farming, which does not necessarily require power to run.
“Will a pig resist being taken to the market because there is no power? President Museveni asked.
Xsabo solar plant
The solar plant, which has 68,800 solar modules is situated on a 125- acre piece of land. The plant, which was set up as a pilot project, will give birth to other similar projects in the districts of Mubende, Kasese, Lira and Soroti.
According to Dr David Alobo, the chief executive officer of Xsabo Group, with the completion of other similar solar plants in various parts of the country, the plants will generate 150MW, bringing the amount of total investment to sh747b.
Alobo said working with the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company limited, Xsabo Group will connect various households, schools and hospitals to the solar power plant free of charge. The commissioning of plant was attended by various leaders, including Vice-President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, MPs and state minister for energy Simon D’Ujanga.
“Dr Alobo, a Ugandan based in Germany, mooted the project idea. He shared it with me and I encouraged him. This is the first stage of 150MW to be produced in four other stations in different parts of the country,” Ssekandi said.
He noted that once the projects are complete, Uganda will be ranked as one of the biggest producers of solar energy on the continent.