Burundi’s first solar park comes online


Burundi-based renewable energy company Gigawatt Global Coöperatief U.A. has announced the completion of the country's first large-scale PV plant – a 7.5 MW installation under development since 2015 and for which construction works were announced in 2017.

The project was financed by South Africa-based equity investor Inspired Evolution, the U.K. government-funded Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP), and Gigawatt Global itself, while the construction loans were refinanced by the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).

Additional direct and indirect financial support was provided by the Energy and Environment Partnership (EEP) set up by Finland, the U.K., and Austria, as well as by the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO).

The US$14 million installation is located near the village of Mubuga, in the Gitega Province, and has increased Burundi’s total generation capacity by over 10%. The electricity generated at the site will be sold to the country’s national electric company, REGIDESO, under a 25-year power purchase agreement.

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According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, Burundi had an installed solar power of around 5 MW at the end of 2020. The country's current total power generation capacity is around 108 MW, of which 48 MW comes from hydropower and 51 MW from conventional power plants.

Access to electricity in the Sub-Saharan country is among the lowest in the world at around 11% and access to clean cooking is less than 5%.

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