An 8.5 MW solar plant in Rwanda at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda is the most recent addition to Norfund’s portfolio and the first utility scale solar PV power plant in East Africa.
Financed in 4 months – a record for infrastructural projects of this kind – and completed just 6 months later, the new plant is already making a significant contribution to power supplies in Rwanda.
Although the power plant is relatively small compared to Norfund and Scatec Solar’s other solar investments, its output is close to 10% of the maximum capacity of Rwanda’s power grid and the plant is making a significant contribution to meeting the growing demand for power in the country.
Speaking at the opening of the plant, Rwanda’s Minister of Infrastructure, James Musoni, said: "Generation and provision of electricity to all Rwandans is a priority for the [Rwandan] government. This plant produces 8.5 megawatts of clean energy and is an important addition to help close our current energy gap."
Through its rental payments, the project provides financial support to the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, a local school for orphans of the Rwandan genocide.
Equity for the project was provided by Scatec Solar, Norfund, and KLP. Senior debt financing was made available from the Dutch development bank FMO and the EAIF.
The solar project is the fourth joint investment by Scatec Solar and Norfund and demonstrates the benefits of building partnerships with industrial companies which are able to replicate and expand successful business models. Further joint Norfund and Scatec Solar investments in solar power projects are anticipated, in 2015 and in the years ahead.