Rwanda PV plant starts production

Power production tests have started at Rwanda and East Africa's first utility-scale solar array, the 8.5MW Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) PV plant.

Located 60km from the capital of Kigaali, the ASYV plant was developed by Scatec Solar in partnership with Netherlands-based Gigawatt Global, Norwegian Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund) and KLP, a Norwegian life insurance company.

Norfund/KLP and Scatec Solar will own the project, with Gigawatt Global maintaining a 20% share.

A PPA has been signed with utility EWSA for power from the plant, which promises to be completed and in full production by August.

Once operational it will be capable of delivering 8% of the total electricity generation of Rwanda, a country of more than 11 million.

The land belongs to the Agahozo- Shalom Youth Village (ASYV), a residential and educational community for youth orphaned during and after the 1994 genocide, which is leasing the land used for the solar facilities for a fee going towards the village's expenses.

All unskilled labour needed for the project has been hired locally with more than 350 workers receiving on-site training.

Norwegian prime minister, Erna Solberg, inaugurated the plant.

Oslo-based Scatec recently completed the 75MW Kalkbult array in South Africa – currently the largest on the African continent.