The first utility scale photovoltaic (PV) project in Rwanda and in that part of Africa, is a 8.5 MW facility located next to the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, a residential community which provides education and support for orphaned children. The project achieved financial close on 14 February 2014 and construction has commenced.

The project has been developed by Gigawatt Global and the sponsors include Norfund and Scatec. Scatec has been one of the leading developers and contractors in the South African renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) programme and is also the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for this project in Rwanda. The project financing is provided by senior lenders FMO and Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund with Norfund providing mezzanine debt.

Global legal practice Norton Rose Fulbright advised the sponsors with the project from the outset and contributed over two thirds of its fees to developing the solar plant. Simon Currie, global head of energy, Norton Rose Fulbright, says, “This project shows what can be done when everyone's interests are aligned. From start to finish this project was completed in a little over one year.”

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