Consortium to build large solar field in Rwanda

5 March 2014

Dutch solar developer Gigawatt Global Coopereratief has begun building a solar field in Rwanda – the first such large-scale solar field project in eastern Africa, it says.

The 8.5MW photovoltaic project will meet 8% of Rwanda’s electricity, said Yosef Abramowitz, president of Gigawatt Global.

Commercial operation of the solar field is expected by summer 2014.

Solar panels (Wikimedia Commons)

The firm secured financing for the $23.7m project from an international consortium of equity investors including Norwegian development finance institution Norfund, Dutch development bank FMO, and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund. British, Finnish, Austrian and American governments also provided grants.

The electricity generated at the plant, located 60km from Kigali, will be fed into the national grid under a 25-year power purchase agreement with the Rwanda Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority.

The government of Rwanda aims for 50% of the country’s population to have access to electricity by 2017.

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