By Spy Uganda
All Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) barracks in Uganda will soon be operating with solar Photovoltaic off-grid systems as one of the ways to reduce electricity expenses.
Spy Uganda has learnt that already a pilot project to implement this solution is being tested at the Kololo Military camp in Kampala.
In order to have a reliable and less expensive source of electricity supply, this is a project of the Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs, which wants to equip all military barracks with solar photovoltaic off-grid systems with an aim of cutting power costs incurred by the Ministry.
“Under the leadership of President Yoweri Museveni, the Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs is studying energy saving measures through the use of solar photovoltaics and we have therefore embarked on a project to install solar energy in army barracks,” Adolf Kasaija Mwesige, the Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs said.
According to Mwesige, each year the Ministry pays an average electricity bill of Shs19Bn (USD5.2 million). However, the budget for this ministerial department rarely exceeds Shs7Bn (around USD2m).
He added that “A pilot project has been launched to help reduce the budget deficit that is affecting the functioning of the Ministry of Defence and this project was awarded to Nexus Green, an off-grid supplier with a strong presence in Uganda.”
Under the leadership of its President Baroness Sandip Verma (former British Minister for International Development), Nexus Green has also signed an agreement with the government to build a plant to manufacture solar water pumps for irrigation.
This current project with the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs is to build an off-grid system that will consist of solar panels and a battery storage system that will provide electricity to the military camp after sunset. It will thus have a capacity of 516 kW p. If this pilot project is successful, the Ministry of Defence will gradually extend it to the rest of the country’s military barracks.