We’re still a young company, but we’re off to a great start! We’ve already accomplished a great deal and the future holds even greater great promise for our company, our customers, and the communities we serve.
On 30 January 2018 the Company’s SPPA for the Kilosa Town was approved and executed. The SPPA was the first SPPA executed with a private developer in two years. The REPP facility was approved in March and work has started on technical and environmental studies for the next phase of the Company’s planned roll out of utility scale solar facilities in the Kilosa District. A preliminary desk study was completed in February that identified four high potential sites. Field work began in March and is expected to be completed in April.
In early 2017, the Company received support under a second Energy and Environmental Partnership for Eastern and Southern Africa grant to partially fund the equipment for the Kilosa Town utility scale solar facility. Work began on site preparation and final feasibility, engineering, and environmental studies were completed for the site. Work on the Company’s Kilosa Regional Headquarters facility accelerated and the Zombo village distribution network was extended to include two nearby villages (Nyali and Ikunga). Planning began for the next group of 5 villages to the south of Zombo.
The Company, in partnership with the University of Dar es Salaam created an internship program for off-grid renewable energy studies. Two Electrical Engineering students successfully completed the program and one was hired as a full time employee to manage the Zombo facility. The Company also hosted a US intern from St. Lawrence University (New York). The intern completed a study on the developmental impact of village scale electrification on women.
During 2017, TANESCO was revising the Guidelines for the Standard Power Purchase Agreement (“SPPA”), consequently there was a two year moratorium on signing SPPA’s with private developers. The new guidelines were approved in late October and in November the Company successfully negotiated the terms and conditions of its first SPPA for the 1 MW Kilosa Town solar facility.
In late 2017, the Company’s water permit request for the Lukosi River hydropower project was approved. The preliminary designs are being revised by our engineering team in the US to reflect certain changes requested by the Ministry of Energy.
In November the Company signed a Support Agreement with the REPP (Renewable Energy Performance Platform) to provide a facility to partially fund the technical, environmental, and financial structuring requirements for a planned portfolio of 4 one megawatt utility scale solar photovoltaic facilities in the Kilosa District.
A longer and harsher rainy season slightly delayed the beginning of construction of our Zombo energy facility until early June. First power was delivered in the 4th Quarter.
The hydropower feasibility studies on the Lukosi River were completed in June. The REA study identified a viable hydropower project site on the Lower Lukosi River. The facility will generate approximately 1.5 MW of green energy, which will be delivered directly to the TANESCO main power grid. The USTDA study identified three potential hydropower sites on the Upper Lukosi River, two 10 MW sites and one 5 MW siteIn July, the Company’s CEO travelled to Jaipur, India to tour the Genus Power Infrastructures facilities (one of the leading pre-payment meter manufacturing companies in India). A preliminary agreement was reached to assemble the pre-payment meters for the Companies planned off-grid projects. The first meters were delivered in early 2017 for use at the Zombo location.
In August the Company entered into an agreement with the Ilundo Community Cooperative Society to jointly develop, own, operate, and maintain two small hydro power facilities near Ilundo Village. The feasibility study and environmental permitting are completed. The Company applied to TANESCO to transfer the projects from the Ilundo Community Cooperative Society to Ruaha Energy and to enter into a Standard Power Purchase Agreement (“SPPA”) to commercialize the facilities. Approval is expected in mid-2018.
In November 2016 we received our first Letter of Intent from TANESCO for the development of a 0.95 1 MW “utility-scale” solar farm near the Village of Malolo. Six additional “utility-scale” solar photo-voltaic sites were identified and land was acquired for two of the sites. A second application for a Letter of Intent for the Kilosa Town site (0,95 MW) was filed in November and the Company acquired land and buildings (3,000 square meter) site adjacent to the planned solar farm site that will be converted into the Company’s Kilosa District offices and maintenance facility. The Kilosa Town site will be developed as a priority.
The Company successfully closed a Reg D, Rule 506 Private Placement of Preferred shares in November.
In December the Company entered into an agreement with Energy4Impact under the IFC sponsored TASF program. Under the agreement the Company received technical, legal, and transaction support to further develop its village scale projects
In 2015 we realized the efforts of our research during the prior year by launching both initiatives: the village-scale model was fully developed, and the solar evaluation was completed under the REA grant. We also applied for, and were awarded a grant from the Energy and Environmental Partnership for Eastern and Southern Africa. This grant provided partial funding for the construction of a “mini-grid” to connect approximately 1,600 residential and small business rural customers!
Working with our engineering partner Ritoch Powell & Associates, we formed a consortium of manufacturers based in Columbus, Ohio. The consortium will supply the hydro-power equipment required for the development of our “run-of-river” green energy projects. The group members worked very closely together to conduct the feasibility studies, evaluate the technologies, and develop the plans for the energy facilities.
We formed a very important partnership with the Kilosa District Council, to bring electricity to 100 isolated rural communities using hybrid, “off-grid” systems, and to install a portfolio of “utility-scale”solar photo-voltaic installations in strategic locations in the District. We also partnered with Cronimet Mining Power Solutions GmbH, to provide assistance for our “utility-scale”, green energy solar projects.
In the fourth quarter, we identified the first group of villages targeted for electrification, and conducted a market assessment for each of the village locations. Our team surveyed several sites for installation and identified a location that was well suited for the energy project, the Village of Zombo. The land was provided by the village; and in return, we agreed to construct a standalone maternity ward with waiting and recovery facilities for the local dispensary!
During 2014 we continued with a series of market reviews and socio-economic studies to determine the best path forward. In early 2014, we applied for two research grants through an affiliate. Both grants were awarded, and helped us undertake two independent feasibility studies.
In December 2014, our first grant was approved by the Tanzania Rural Energy Agency (REA), as part of a World Bank sponsored program. The grant partially funded the evaluation of our regional strategy that included: an assessment of the hydro-power potential on the Lower Lukosi River, development of our “off-grid”, village-scale model, and an assessment of the potential for solar energy development in the Kilosa District.
Our second grant (also approved in December 2014) was awarded by the US Trade Development Agency under the Power Africa Initiative. The grant provided partial funding for a study to evaluate the hydro-power potential on the Upper Lukosi River.
In mid-2013, Ruaha Energy’s founder began conducting field and market research to assess the potential for delivering commercially viable, renewable energy solutions to underserved rural communities in Tanzania. It quickly became apparent that the pervasive market need for reliable, affordable, and renewable energy solutions represented a compelling opportunity to serve the local communities. Consequently, Ruaha was formed in August 2013 to undertake our initial operations. As our evaluations continued, two important trends became apparent:
|There was a growing recognition among governments and developmental institutions that smaller scale, rural based renewable energy solutions play an increasingly vital and important role in bringing power to the market.|
|These converging dynamics laid the foundation for our formation. Our Company is the vehicle we use to drive our strategy designed to provide replicable, quick-to-market, renewable energy solutions to under served rural communities.|
The future is bright… Not just for us… But for our customers, as well!