Building a solid foundation: Master plans for electricity access

From 2010 to 2012, NRECA International partnered with Uganda’s Rural Electrification Administration (REA) to define the country’s electrification strategy through the Uganda Accelerated Rural Electrification Program. Funded by the World Bank, this project extended into 2014 and NRECA International developed a master electrification plan for one new electric service territory in Uganda. Today, the team is on a path to lay the groundwork to produce master plans for all 13 of the country’s electric service territories.

NRECA International continues to play a key role in the country’s aggressive plan to rapidly increase electricity access in its rural areas. Under the REA Master Plans project funded by the USAID/Power Africa program in Uganda, the team is in the process of developing master plans for the first six service territories by end of August 2017, and completing all 13 service territories by end of June, 2018. Once these six master plans are completed, the team will help the REA develop an off-grid electrification strategy for Uganda. This will include actively engaging private sector service providers and developers to coordinate renewable energy mini-grids and stand-alone energy solutions as part of a larger national electrification planning paradigm.

Connecting people to power

Rural communities that already have access to power are expanding, while many consumers who are just 70 meters from a power line find themselves unable to pay for electric service. In some places in rural Uganda, only 10% of community members have the resources to pay for the cost of an electric connection. To address this, Power Africa has engaged the NRECA International team to help REA define a new connections policy that will finance service connections for community members who are unable to pay these fees—a critical component of REA’s national access program strategy.

Cooperation among cooperatives

In 2011, the NRECA International team trained boards and staff members of two electric cooperatives and REA staff under the Strengthening Electric Cooperative Programs, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Cooperative Development Program.