Multinational renewable energy company, Gigawatt Global, has announced that the 7,5MW Mubuga solar power plant in Burundi has achieved commercial operations after a six year development process. The renewable energy facility is Burundi’s first-ever solar plant to connect to the country’s national grid.
The solar PV plant has increased Burundi’s generation capacity by over 10%, and is the country’s first substantial energy generation project to go online in over three decades. The facility will supply clean power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses – just before the start of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26).
“Bringing clean energy to one of the world’s least developed countries fulfils Gigawatt Global’s mission to be a premier impact platform of choice for renewables in Africa. We believe this demonstrates how solar power can be implemented in other developing markets, while decreasing dependency on costly and polluting diesel generators,” said Michael Fichtenberg, Managing Director of Gigawatt Global Burundi.
Financing for the construction of the project 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).
UK Minister for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change, Greg Hands, said: “Today’s launch of Burundi’s first grid-connected solar farm will light up the nation’s energy system. It will strengthen the national grid supply and propel forward a promising future for the country in clean, green energy. 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. 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 reinsurance is provided by DFC.