Multinational effort brings first solar farm to Burundi

Green energy developer Gigawatt Global has led an international effort in a six-year process to build Burundi’s first solar farm, consisting of a 7.5 MW solar PV plant located near the village of Mubuga.
Multinational effort brings first solar farm to Burundi
Courtesy of Gigawatt Global

The commercial operation of the solar farm has increased Burundi’s generation capacity by over 10 percent and is the country’s first substantial energy generation project to go online in over three decades, supplying clean power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses.

Financing for the construction of the project, completed just ahead of COP26, was provided via a consortium including pan-African private equity investor Inspired Evolution, the UK government-funded Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP – managed by Camco Clean Energy), and Gigawatt Global. The construction loans are being refinanced by the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).

“Set to increase Burundi’s power generation capacity by 10%, this pioneering project, backed by UK government funding, is a fantastic example of countries working together ahead of COP26” said UK Minister for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change, Greg Hands. “Investing in a green future benefits the economy and the planet.”

Additional support for the project was provided directly and indirectly from the Energy and Environment Partnership (EEP – a fund set up by Finland, the UK and Austria), the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO),  Trinity International has advised the Gigawatt Global and Inspired Evolution equity teams since 2017.  Engineering, procurement and construction services were provided by French firm Voltalia, and political risk re-insurance is provided by DFC.

The Burundi facility recently received the award for “Project of the Year” from EEP.

Gigawatt Global is also building a community centre powered by solar energy that will offer local access to productive use of electricity. The centre will focus on community development through women’s empowerment and youth and employment programs, along with various educational components being developed with local and international NGOs.

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