Sany Heavy Industries, China’s
largest industrial equipment manufacturer, has partnered with the regional
government of Singida, Tanzania, to construct Africa’s largest wind farm.
The company is a newcomer to turbine manufacturing, beginning operations in 2010, but is already China’s fourth largest exporter of turbine units.
Sany produces turbine units with 1,5MW 2MW and 3MW operating capacity. Its products have been used at the Adama II wind farm in Ethiopia where Sany supplied 102 turbine units. The farm, which produces 153MW of wind created energy, accounts for 20% of the total energy capacity of the nation.
The project in Tanzania will cost an estimated $150m and be completed in a series of phases. The first will see an initial 100MW installed with similar phases to follow suit. Upon completion, the farm will produce around 600MW of power and be 93% larger than the 310MW Lake Turkana facility in Kenya which is currently the largest of its kind on the continent.
The installation of 600MW to the grid will effectively increase Tanzania’s electricity capacity from 1.5GW to 2.1GW. This increase in capacity will have significant impact on the local communities as, according to the 2017 World Bank Electricity Access Report, only 32.8% of its citizens currently use electricity to light their homes.
The project is not the first in the region. Tenders have been issued by Tanzania Electric Supply Co (TANESCO) for the installations of 200MW and 150MW of wind and solar farms at sites in Dodoma, Mwanza, Iringa, Shinyanga, and Simiyu.
Sany Heavy Industries have said the introduction of 600MW to the grid will bolster the nation’s total energy capacity by 8%. The International Energy Agency reiterated the importance of solar and wind energy, stating the two green energy sources would be pivotal in providing electricity to over half a billion Africans in the next two decades.