GGGI Ethiopia’s Largest Pilot SPIS Project Goes Operational

A Solar-powered Irrigation System (SPIS) Project, which is the largest and the first of its kind in the country, pilot-tested at the rift valley area of the Oromia regional state with an outlay of 70,000 USD, successfully installed and went operational.

The Pilot Project, which is funded by the Danish Government, embodies 48 panel modules and has a total capacity of generating 17,760 Watt Peak (WP) -each unit producing 370 WP.

The pilot test was installed under the SPIS project , the solar energy flagship of the GGGI Country Program Office, in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and Oromia Irrigation and Pastoralist Development Bureau. It has a capacity to pump and water up to 90 hectares of land, and is expected to serve about 250 inhabitants of the local community organized under 50 members of irrigation cooperatives.

On the 3rd of September 2022, some 33 pool of Irrigation , Electro-mechanical and Hydraulic experts drawn from Governmental, INGOs, UN Agency and the Private sector, visited the SPIS pilot project at Negalign locality, Adami Tulu Jido Kombolcha district, East Shoa zone of the Oromia regional state. The visiting team was briefed on the technical and operational modalities of this submersible type of Solar-powered Irrigation System.

The overwhelming majority of the team agreed that the Pilot Project is a proverbial example in the solar powered-irrigation system of the country and is worth emulating and scaling up across the nation. They noted that such an innovative and largescale SPIS spearheaded by GGGI will help contribute to the national initiative of the country to transition from diesel to solar powered irrigation in a bid to help ensure a Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA).

The field visit was a follow-on activity of a two-day “Validation Workshop on SPIS Quality Standard Framework” organized by the GGGI Ethiopia in association with MoA from August 1-2, 2022 at Adama town of the Oromia regional state, during which Dr. Gemedo Dalle, GGGI Country Representative and Mr. Elias Awol, Executive of Small-scale Irrigation Development at the MoA, were in attendance.

The experts have in-depth deliberated on the draft document and came up with valuable inputs to reframe and fine-tune same. After finalization, it will serve as policy document in the solar irrigation sector of the country.