Tanzania learns about Seychelles’ solar PV system | 06 February 2020
Ten representatives from the Energy and Water Utilities Authority and from the Tanzanian Electricity Supply Company Limited of the United Republic of Tanzania are on a four-day technical familiarisation study tour in the country to learn more about Seychelles’ solar PV programme and its implementation.
It was the Energy and Water Utilities Authority (Ewura) who contacted the Seychelles Energy Commission (Sec) and made an official request to visit Seychelles and learn more about our net-metering programme which is being used for the deployment of roof-top grid-connected PV systems.
The study tour is being funded by USAIDS and facilitated by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) where one of its representatives is also present on this familiarisation visit. The workshop yesterday included networking with local PV suppliers and installers in the afternoon.
After talks with the Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change (MEECC) Wallace Cosgrow and other senior officials from the ministry and from Sec on Tuesday February 5, the Tanzanian delegation again met representatives from Sec and from the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC) yesterday at the Savoy Resort & Spa, Beau Vallon, in a half-day workshop to further present and discuss the net-metering programme.
Engineer and director of electricity with Ewura, Godfrey Chibulunje, said that Ewura recently developed a net-metering programme framework and prior to its effective implementation, together with the Ministry of Energy and the utility, TANNESCO, in Tanzania, considered the importance of a familiarisation visit to one country which has similar electricity supply industry with Tanzania and also one that has been successful in implementing the net-metering.
“We have chosen Seychelles first of all because it is one of our partners we worked with in many other areas as well and also it was easier for us to come here because we get visas on arrival. The other reason is that Seychelles has already implemented the programme and we have only the framework back home and we don’t know what the challenges are. So we have come here to learn so that we can start a pilot project before the country can start the implementation of the programme,” Mr Chibulunje said.
To launch the consultative workshop, the principal secretary for energy and climate change, Wills Agricole, said that the visit will further expose the Tanzanian delegation to steps which have been followed by Seychelles, thus providing an opportunity for Tanzania to take the successful route and to avoid mistakes.
Explaining how our net-metering programme works, Mr Agricole said for Seychelles, transformation of the energy sector through the development and deployment of renewable energy (RE) resources and technologies is not merely an option, but it is a significant way to improve our energy security, thus allowing us to play our part in reducing the effects of climate change.
He said that our net-metering programme provides an incentive for customers to take part in renewable electricity generation by offsetting the energy which is produced from their RE system against the energy which they have consumed from the utility grid, with the resulting difference settled either by the customer or PUC.
Mr Agricole further explained that if the energy consumed by the customer is more than that produced by the RE system, the customer will pay PUC the net consumption at the prevailing tariff rate. On the other hand, if the consumer’s RE system produces more than his/her consumption then PUC will pay the customer for every unit supplied at the rate of 88% of the prevailing fuel-margin cost. The remaining 12% accounts for energy dissipated in the grid during energy transfer from the customer’s RE system to other parts of the grid.
“We are indeed very proud that you have chosen Seychelles for such a visit and considered Seychelles to be a successful country in implementing the net-metering programme,” Mr Agricole said, noting that all different listed local entities on the programme will be at their disposal to provide the necessary support for a fruitful and successful study tour.
The Tanzanian delegation continues on their familiarisation visit today with visits at the PUC power station and the PV demonstration system at Roche Caïman and the wind and PV farm on Ile Romainville before ending with a closing meeting at Sec tomorrow morning. It is expected that through the hands-on experience of Sec, PUC and other key stakeholders, namely PV supplier and installers, it will help strengthen the Tanzanian capacity towards effective implementation of the net-metering programme.
Sec is also taking this opportunity to establish a relationship with Ewura for collaboration and support in its role as Seychelles electricity regulator.
Sec chief executive Tony Imaduwa and chairman Jean Rassool were also present at the workshop.