Gigawatt Global launches 7.5MW solar project in Burundi

burundisolar-Maghrebia-flickrThe government of Burundi, along with Gigawatt Global, is keen to develop solar energy generation capabilities in the southeast African nation. (Image source: Maghrebia/Flickr) Multinational renewable energy company Gigawatt Global has entered an agreement with the government of Burundi to develop a 7.5MW solar project in Gitega, near Bujumbura 

The landlocked nation has limited access to electricity, and the upcoming project is expected to increase generation capacity by 15 per cent, said Gigawatt Global officials.

The plant will be constructed at Gitega, located 104 km from the capital Bujumbura. With a planned cost of US$20mn, the project will provide 60,000 households access to electricity, confirmed Gigawatt Global officials.

Gigawatt Global president Yosef Abramowitz said, “Our impact investment model is to strengthen developing nations, both economically and environmentally, by providing renewable energy sources where they are most needed. We plan to build 1,000 solar megawatts in Africa by 2020, providing electricity to millions of households and institutions that are currently without the most basic of human needs.”

The solar project is being supported by two grants totalling nearly US$1mn from Power Africa via the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and the Energy and Environment Partnership (EEP) – a coalition representing the British, Finnish, and Austrian governments. The USTDA grant will fund a feasibility study that will address key technical and economic aspects of the solar project, conduct environmental and social impact assessments, and provide the necessary analysis for the project to secure financing. The grant funds awarded by EEP will be used for pre-development works and legal costs.

In February 2015, the company launched an 8.5MW plant in Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) in Rwanda, which is East Africa’s first utility-scale solar project to go online.

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