Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Rwanda's First Utility-Scale Solar Plant to Provide Electricity to Powerless Communities

Business
Rwanda's First Utility-Scale Solar Plant to Provide Electricity to Powerless Communities

Photo credit: Rwandapost.org

Construction has begun on the first utility-scale solar plant in Rwanda.

Norwegian company Scatec Solar will build an 8.5-megawatt (MW) plant in Rwanda as a result of striking a 23.7 million deal with developer Gigawatt Global Coöperatief and Norfund, Norway’s international development fund, according to statement from the company.

Scheduled for completion this summer, the plant will be built on the land of Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village's (ASYV), a residential and educational community for youth who were orphaned during and after the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

"We are very happy to be able to realize this first utility scale [photovoltaic] project in Rwanda," Scatec Solar CEO Raymond Carlsen said. "Through this project, we will demonstrate that with the combined efforts of experienced partners and national authorities, solar energy is fast and cost-effective to build.”

The company reached a 25-year power purchase agreement for the solar plant with the Rwanda Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority in 2013. 

Scatec Solar also operates the 75-MW Kalkbult solar park, which is the largest solar structure in Africa. The new plant will be located about 40 miles from Rwanda’s capital, Kigale.

The plant is part of Rwanda's plan to provide half of its population with electricity by 2017. By that time, the government hopes to increase its generation to 560 MW. It totaled just 110 MW last year.

"Generation and provision of electricity to all Rwandans is important for the government of Rwanda," said Emma Francoise Isumbingabo, the country's energy and water minister. "This initiative to produce 8.5 megawatts is a good addition towards closing the current energy gap."

Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.

Reintroducing wolves is on the ballot in Colorado. Gunner Ries / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 3.0

By Tara Lohan

Maybe we can blame COVID-19 for making it hard to hit the streets and gather signatures to get initiatives on state ballots. But this year there are markedly fewer environmental issues up for vote than in 2018.

While the number of initiatives may be down, there's no less at stake. Voters will still have to make decisions about wildlife, renewable energy, oil companies and future elections.

Here's the rundown of what's happening where.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A health care worker holds a test for patients suspected of being infected with coronavirus at the Center Health Vicoso Jardim on April 30, 2020 in Niteroi, Brazil. Luis Alvarenga / Getty Images

By Alexander Freund

The World Health Organization, along with its global partners in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, has announced that it will provide 120 million rapid-diagnostic antigen tests to people in lower- and middle-income countries over the next six months. The tests represent a "massive increase" in testing worldwide, according to the Global Fund, a partnership that works to end epidemics.

Read More Show Less

Trending

U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in the first presidential debate moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University on Sept. 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. Scott Olson / Getty Images

The first presidential debate seemed like it would end without a mention of the climate crisis when moderator Chris Wallace brought it up at the end of the night for a segment that lasted roughly 10 minutes.

Read More Show Less
Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

The wildfires that roared through Eastern Washington in September had a devastating impact on an extremely endangered species of rabbit.

Read More Show Less
A protestor in NYC holds up a sign that reads, "November Is Coming" on June 14, 2020 in reference to voting in the 2020 presidential election. Ira L. Black / Corbis / Getty Images

By Mark Hertsgaard

What follows are not candidate endorsements. Rather, this nonpartisan guide aims to inform voters' choices, help journalists decide what races to follow, and explore what the 2020 elections could portend for climate action in the United States in 2021 and beyond.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch