Norway-based Scatec Solar is to build the first utility-scale PV plant in Rwanda, also said to be the first of its size in East Africa.
The company has closed on a US$23.7 million deal to finance the 8.5MW project with Norway’s international development fund, Norfund, and developer Gigawatt Global Coöperatief.
Construction is expected to start work immediately, with completion scheduled for this summer.
When complete, the plant is expected to increase Rwanda’s total electricity generation capacity by 8% and contribute towards the country’s stated aim of increasing its renewable energy capacity fivefold.
Located around 60km from Rwanda’s capital, Kigale, the plant will be built on land belonging to Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV), a residential and educational community for youth orphaned during and after Rwanda’s 1994 genocide.
Electricity from the plant will be fed into the national grid under a 25-year power purchase agreement with Rwanda Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA).
The capital investment for the project will be financed through FMO, the Dutch Development Bank, the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund and Norfund. Scatec Solar and Norfund will be majority owners in the solar park with project developer Gigawatt Global maintaining a 20% share in the project.
Scatec Solar is already actively involved in the burgeoning PV market in South Africa.