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Gigawatt Global plans 1,000 MW solar power in Africa by 2020.


"KIGALI (Reuters) - Dutch company Gigawatt Global said on Thursday it will spend $2 billion to generate 1,000 megawatts of solar power in Africa by 2020 after launching the largest photovoltaic field in East Africa at a village in Rwanda.

African nations are racing to mobilise funds to invest in new power plants and utilities after decades of under investment left huge swathes of their populations without electricity.

Located 60 km (37 miles) outside the capital of Kigali, the solar field built at a cost of $23.7 million will produce 8.5 megawatts and increase Rwanda's power generation capacity by about 6 percent, said Yosef Abramowitz, Gigawatt's president.

The money was raised from equity investors and lenders, he said, and the government offered strong incentives to build.

Abramowitz said other countries such as Burundi could benefit from the planned power generation expansion.

Power from Rwanda's photovoltaic field will connect more people to the grid in the country of about 11 million people where only 22 percent of the population have access to electricity."



Rwanda cuts ribbon at landmark 8.5MW PV plant

"JERUSALEM (JTA) — The first utility-scale solar power field in East Africa, built on land belonging to a Jewish-sponsored youth village in Rwanda, was launched.

The nearly $24 million project was financed and constructed by Gigawatt Global.
Yosef Abramowitz, Gigawatt president, also is CEO of Energiya Global Capital, Gigawatt’s Israeli affiliate, which provided seed money and strategic assistance for the project.
The Rwanda field — constructed in the shape of the African continent — was built on land belonging to the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village. The village for orphans from the 1994 Rwandan genocide and after was founded by the late Anne Heyman, who died a year ago in a horse-riding accident.

The village is leasing land to house the solar facility, the fees from which will help pay for a portion of the village’s charitable expenses. Gigawatt Global also will be providing training on solar power to students of the Liquidnet High School on the grounds of the Youth Village."


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