Rwamagana 8.5MW solar plant to be commissioned today

The US23.7 million Rwamagana solar plant, located near Agahozo Sharlom Youth Village, will tomorrow be unveiled, a year after its construction was commissioned.

The expansive solar power plant at Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwamagana District. (Courtesy)
The expansive solar power plant at Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwamagana District. (Courtesy)

The US23.7 million Rwamagana solar plant, located near Agahozo Sharlom Youth Village, will tomorrow be unveiled, a year after its construction was commissioned.

The plant, which is the first utility-scale solar power plant in East Africa, will contribute 8.5 megawatts to the national grid, bringing it to 156 megawatts on the grid, according to the Ministry of Infrastructure.

According to a statement issued by Gigawatt Global, the firm that set up the plant after a power purchase agreement with the government, the plant will be unveiled by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Chief of Staff of the US government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic), John Morton.

In the statement, the president and chief executive of Opic, Elizabeth Littlefield, said top quality developers like Gigawatt Global are critical to the success of President Barrack Obama’s Power Africa Initiative.

“After Opic provided critical early-stage support through the Africa Clean Energy Finance (Acef) program, Gigawatt smoothly and swiftly brought the project online to give Rwanda enough grid-connected power to supply 15,000 homes,” she is quoted as saying.

“Gigawatt Global in Rwanda is a clear demonstration that solar will be a key part of Africa’s energy solution.”

The choice of Agahozo-Shalom

The 8.5-megawatt solar photovoltaic project is the brainchild of American-Israeli green entrepreneur Yosef Abramowitz, a pioneer of Israel’s solar industry.

Abramowitz, who is also the president of Gigawatt Global, believes that the utility-scale solar field at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village is a symbol of hope for sub-Saharan Africa’s millions of orphans and 600 million people without power, ushering in a new era of impact investing that would be replicated throughout the continent.

“We want to thank President Obama and Secretary John Kerry, along with our other financial partners, for the opportunity to celebrate this landmark electricity-generating project under Power Africa,” Abramowitz is quoted as saying in the statement.

The utility-scale solar plant is built on land owned by the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, whose mission is to care for Rwanda’s most vulnerable children orphaned before and after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The Village leased out the land to house the solar facility, the fees from which will help pay for a portion of the Village’s charitable expenses.

Gigawatt Global will also be providing training on solar power to students of the Liquidnet High School at the Youth Village.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

ADVERTISEMENT