Solar unit to boost Rwanda electricity


KIGALI, Rwanda – A 10MW Solar Power plant worth $20 million is to be constructed in Kayonza Eastern Province and when completed  enable Rwanda to achieve its energy target of 563 MW by the year 2017.

The deal was struck last week between the government and Goldsol ll. According to a Memorandum of Agreement signed in Kigali, Goldsol ll is an energy consortium composed of three companies TMM Renewable of South Africa, Gesto Africa company registered in Malta, and 3E Power registered in Rwanda. They will jointly carry out the project.   “Government of Rwanda has a target of increasing the access to electricity of Rwandans by 2020 and therefore as the country still faces such a challenge. It is further enhancing efforts towards responding to the present and future needs of the country,”  Emma Francoise Isumbingabo, the Minister of State in charge of Energy and Water said.

“There is need therefore of strong collaborative efforts between government and the private sector which will promote socio-economic development of the Rwandan people,” she said. Current installed generation capacity is close to 120MW which gives the country hope of meeting its target of access to power by the population to 70% by 2017 currently standing at 19.4%.

“A successful energy intervention can bring multiple impacts that will support achieving Rwanda’s Vision 2020 objectives,” Isumbingabo said. Amb. Valentine Rugwabiza, the CEO of  Rwanda Development Board said the country was keen on conservation of the environment and therefore was using an expansive approach that embraces a range of clean energy solutions.

“Working with experienced investors like Goldsoll ll who are contributing 10MW is fundamental to further boosting Rwanda’s GDP,” she said. When the project is concluded, it will serve over 38,800 households and will contribute to job creation and improve standards of living of Rwandans.

According to Ntare Karitanyi Director General of the Energy Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) of Rwanda they will be buying electricity at Rwf120 per Kilowatt. Miguel Barrato representative Goldsol ll said solar power offers good prospects and, it does not pollute the environment and therefore was an alternative to Rwanda in her aim of conserving the environment.

“In 21months (about 2 years) we will be concluding this project which is one of the largest solar plants in East Africa,” he said. Rwanda aims at looking through all resources available to create a balance that will facilitate low costs of energy to the population. Rwanda is also developing its geothermal and gas energy sources found in the Lake Kivu area.