Rwanda have completed the 8.5 megawatt power plant, so that from a bird’s eye it is formed in the shape of the African continent.
The £15.5 million project went from contract signing, construction and completion in the space of a year, showing that the plant is evident to Africa’s plan of increasing the affordability of renewable energy.
In Rwanda by Lake Mugesera, 28,360 computer controlled panels are placed within the grass which results in improving the efficiency by 20% compared to motionless panels. The panels are from China, while the inverters and transformers are from Germany.
The solar power plant has created 350 local jobs, in addition to increasing Rwanda’s generation capacity by 6%, allowing them to power more than 15,000 homes.
One of the workers stated: “The Rwandan government is in desperate need of energy. In 2013 they only had 110 megawatts. They wanted solar to increase capacity.”
The director of the village also added: “The project is probably the fastest: in less than a year it was up and going. It’s bringing a lot of visits from anyone interested in project development, and it brings some visibility for us. It’s something quite unique and we’re proud to be partners in it.”
Also commenting on Rwanda’s solar plans was Chaim Motzen. Gigawatt Global’s co-founder and solar industry pioneer in Israel said: “Rwanda had 110 megawatts on the grid for a population of 12 million people; Israel has 13,000 megawatts for 8 million people. There was a desperate need for more energy.”
He concluded by adding: “Rwanda has an excellent business environment – no corruption – and that played a role. I also think they were serious about wanting to move quickly. We had good partners on the ground. It’s now being used as a model: you can do energy deals quickly and get things done. It’s a catalyst for future projects in Rwanda and hopefully not just in Rwanda to inspire others to do what we’re doing.”