Building a solid foundation: Master plans for electricity access

From 2010 to 2012, NRECA International partnered with Uganda’s Rural Electrification Agency (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 has completed developing master plans for  all 13 service territories. The team will now 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 enlisted the NRECA International team to help REA define and implement the new Electricity Connections Policy. Under this new initiative, the consumers located 70 meters from a power line will receive free electricity connections. This will help expedite and increase access for community members who are unable to pay connections fees.

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. In 2018, funded by USAID, the team conducted a training and technical needs assessment of four electric co-ops, and issued a report that outlined recommendations for training and institutional strengthening.

Productive use of energy

To support farmers grow their income, the NRECA International team is designing a productive use of energy program which will outline more effective use of electricity resources. The agriculture value chains in this initiative include coffee, dairy, livestock, maize, cassava, fruits, vegetables, and poultry. This program is also funded by USAID.