Rwanda has started the construction of a new 8.5 MW solar PV plant, the first utility-scale solar power field in East Africa. The plant will be built on land belonging to Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village.
The PV plant will become East Africa's first utility-scale solar installation and, once complete, will generate 8% of Rwanda's electricity.
The Rwandan Government is eager to invest more steadily in renewable energy, and has set itself the objective of a five-fold increase in renewable sources of power by 2017.
The nearly $24 million project was announced Monday by Yosef Abramowitz, the president of Gigawatt Global Cooperatief, which arranged for its financing.
The solar field will feed electricity into the national grid under a 25-year power purchase agreement with the Rwanda Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA). It is expected to be operational before the end of the year.
Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village is leasing the land, and some of the fees generated will be used to help fund the charity's ongoing activities.
Agahozo-Shalom was built by the late Anne Heyman, who died earlier this month in a horse-riding accident, to take care of the orphans of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.