President Yoweri Museveni has Wednesday commissioned the 20 Megawatts (MW) solar power plant in Gomba district, the biggest solar park in East and Central Africa.
The solar park situated in Kabulasoke sub-county, Gomba, is already connected to the national grid and will serve a population of more than 5 million people in rural Uganda.
The project was officially launched by President Yoweri Museveni who was accompanied by the Vice President, Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi. Also present were the proprietors of Xsabo Group & Great Lakes Energy Company which were behind the development of the infrastructure.
Sitting on 280 acres, the plant is installed with 68,000 solar models and has a capacity of producing 20 Megawatts (MW) of solar generated power.
Government says the project will help diversify the national energy pool.
It is part of the five more solar parks to be developed by Xsabo Energy Limited and associated companies in various locations within the country, with total generation capacity of 150 MW worth a total investment volume of USD 199M.
Central to President Museveni’s message at the launch in Goba on Wednesday was eradication of poverty at the household level. He appealed to the people in Gomba to take advantage of such infrastructure projects to better their household income.
He further asked local leaders to take the lead in following up on government programs such as NAADS, to ensure that the impact is realized at the household level.
He reminded the locals that developed infrastructure such the recently upgraded Maddu – Kabulasoke road can significantly transform their livelihoods, if used to transport their produce.
Museveni attributed the success of projects like the solar power plant to the conducive environment established by the ruling NRM government.
“The Bible says that what you sow is what you reap. For investors to come to invest their money here, it shows that NRM has put something in place,” the President said in his remarks.
Another solar power plant, similar in capacity to that in Gomba, is situated in Soroti district (Eastern Uganda) and was commissioned in 2016. Located on 33-acre land, the Shs 67 billion power plant generates 10MW with capacity to increase capacity output by a further 20MW.
Museveni has often stressed the need to diversify Uganda’s sources of energy from the traditional hydro power to geothermal, solar and biogas which are renewable and cheaper.