HomeRegional NewsEast AfricaSolar field highlights renewable energy in Burundi

Solar field highlights renewable energy in Burundi

Multinational renewable energy company, Gigawatt Global, announced that preparations for work to begin on the $14 million solar field commenced on Wednesday.

According to a company statement, the ceremony was attended by government officials, international investors and the diplomatic community.

“Empowering economic and social development is at the heart of our green energy business,” VP for finance and business development at Gigawatt Global, Michael Fichtenberg, said.

Fichtenberg continued: “This high impact development investment supported by leading international financial institutions signals that Burundi is open for development and business.”

Burundi solar field

According to the company, the development is set to be the largest private international investment in the power sector in Burundi in nearly 30 years, with the power to be sold to the national power supplier, REGIDESO, over a period of 25 years.

Minister of energy and mines, His Excellency Come Manirakiza, commented: “We are very excited at the ground-breaking of the Gigawatt Burundi solar field.

“After their success in Rwanda, Gigawatt Global has proven it can be relied on to deliver efficient, clean renewable energy at reasonable cost, contributing greatly to our economy and society.”

Manirakiza added, “We look forward to the speedy completion of this project, and are thankful for the collaboration and cooperation with Gigawatt Global as energy in Burundi is a clear priority.”

In 2014, the corporation developed and financed the first commercial scale solar field in Rwanda.

Economic development

The US Ambassador to Burundi, Anne Casper, said: “This project is a great example of Burundians, Americans and other international partners working together for the economic development of Burundi.”

“The success of this project will be a positive signal to other potential investors, who are watching Gigawatt Global and the government of Burundi to see if investing in Burundi is stable, predictable and easy to do.

“We are working together very hard and very closely; the US, Burundi [and] the Netherlands… to make this project a success…,” Casper added.

US Power Africa coordinator Andrew Herscowitz also commented: “As a founding Power Africa partner, Gigawatt Global continues to demonstrate its industry leadership with this investment in Burundi.”

HE Hendrikes Verwein, the Dutch Ambassador to Burundi, said: “The Kingdom of the Netherlands supports Gigawatt Global and commits to assist the company in the pursuit of its investments.

“The Kingdom of the Netherlands expresses its wish that the contractual commitments included in the agreement protocols for the construction of the solar plant in Mubuga be rapidly implemented.”

The construction and interconnection of the project to the national grid is expected to be concluded in Q4 of 2017.

Featured image: CT Mirror

Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.