Mwenga Hydro & Rural Electrification

Energy Cities & Regions

An integrated, renewable energy infrastructure project to supply rural households and businesses

Project Facts

Mufindi District, Iringa Region

Project Volume
10-25 Mio. EUR

Applied Financing Solutions
Grants, Market-Rate Loans, Carbon Market

Project Dates
Start: 2009
In operation since/from: 2012

The Story

Having been struggling with an unreliable power supply for its tea farm and factory in the rural south of Tanzania, the Norwegian-German Rift Valley Corporation decided to build and operate its own hydroelectric power station and to include the whole region in its power grid. With the help of initial funding by the ACP-EU Energy Facility and pre-sold CER credits, inter alia, a rural electrification network has been established which today supplies around 4,000 customers in 32 villages – public institutions such as schools and hospitals as well as hundreds of SMEs – with reliable and green electricity below national tariffs. In addition to the initial 4 MW Mwenga hydro plant, in operation since 2012, three more hydro plants and a further wind project with a total generation capacity of 13 MW are currently being developed as well as another two rural networks. In total, Rift Valley Energy provides energy access to around 65,000 people living in the Mufindi district, thereby replacing diesel generators and traditional energy sources such as kerosene, firewood and coal for lighting and cooking. All customers use a cell phone-based, pre-paid metering system for their electricity purchases.

Success Factor | Hero Moment

Building upon an already established, economically solid local business provided not only initial infrastructure and important local contacts for the realization of the project, but also served as a confidence basis for partners and a security to obtain local bank finance. A decisive moment for the project was when the environmental impact assessment and negotiations regarding land-use where completed and Rift Valley Energy received the license to directly sell energy as the first private company in Tanzania.

Rift Valley Energy Ltd, Zimbabwe

Other Involved Stakeholders
EU-ACP Energy Facility, Rural Energy Agency of Tanzania

Contact Mail


Hydropower, EuropeAid, Grid Connection

Hard Facts
65.000 people are benefitting directly