Photo: Asoko Insight
Military installations, bases and barracks across the country will in the near future be solely powered by solar energy, saving the Ministry of Defence billions of shillings spent annually on paying electricity bills.
According to the Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs, Mr Adolf Kasaija Mwesige, one of the ministry’s straining areas has been the cost of utilities, with the electricity bills topping the stress table.
“We have been incurring an astronomic bill of Shs19.7 billion annually against a budget provision of Shs7.4 billion, which is unsustainable deficit of 63 per cent,” the chief guest at the site inspection of the 516kwp plant, Mr Mwesige said mid-last week at Kololo in Kampala where the pilot project is being undertaken.
He continued: “In view of this high electricity bills deficit, the ministry is exploring energy cost saving measures by harnessing solar power, guided by President Museveni. We embarked on the project for installation of solar power in army barracks.”
As a result, a pilot project contracted to a renewable energy company, Nexus Green, currently rigorously testing the infrastructure, before being rolled out to other military installations across the country. Upon completion, it is expected to generate 516kilowatt of power (kW) at a cost of slightly more than Shs5.8 billion.
Speaking in an interview, the chairperson of Nexus Green, Ms Baroness Verma, a company that deals in renewable energy, noted that so far, all is going well and that once testing of the facility is completed, it will be operational.