Gigawatt Global, an American-owned Dutch developer, this week held a ground-breaking ceremony for a 7.5-MW solar field in Burundi.
According to the announcement, the USD-14-million (EUR 13.2m) project will add 15% to the generation capacity of the East African country, one of the world’s least developed nations.
Following completion of construction and grid interconnection, expected in the final quarter of 2017, the plant will sell its power to the national electric company, REGIDESO, for 25 years.
This is the second African solar field for Gigawatt Global, a founding member of the White House Power Africa initiative, which financed and developed a solar project in neighboring Rwanda in 2014.
“Gigawatt Global is expecting to deploy $2 billion in renewable energy projects in Africa as partners of the White House Power Africa initiative in the coming years as renewables are taking the lead in power generation in Africa and emerging markets,” said chief executive Josef Abramowitz. “We are targeting sub-Sahara Africa as a high impact and high growth market, with a portfolio of small, medium and large power projects in the highest priority development areas,” Abramowitz added.
The Burundi project has received a grant from the Energy and Environment Partnership — a Finland, UK, Austrian fund — and the Belgian Investment Company for Developing countries (BIO) to cover the relevant studies. It is also supported by the African-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP) and the Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP), Gigawatt Global said.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.940)