Mini-grids are electrical generation and distribution systems of less than 10 megawatts that serve customers through local distribution networks. In 2040, an estimated 140 million rural Africans will get electricity from mini-grids, requiring more than 100,000 mini-grids to be built. By generating electricity close to where it’s needed, mini-grids can become the standard choice for the millions of rural Africans who live far from the central grid.
Tanzania has at least 109 mini-grids, with installed capacity of 157.7 MW. They serve about 184,000 customers. Sixteen of these plants are connected to the national grid; the remaining 93 operate as isolated mini-grids. Not all the installed capacity goes to customer connections; some is sold to the national utility, the Tanzania Electric Supply Company.
The number and installed capacity of mini-grids in Tanzania has nearly doubled since 2008, when the government introduced the small power producers framework. Fifty-two mini-grids were commissioned between 2008 and 2016 and more than 67 MW of new capacity installed.
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