Gigawatt Global to begin the development of 7.5 MW solar field in Burundi

BURUNDI – Gigawatt Global, a Dutch company with American investors and a founding partner of the U.S. Power Africa initiative is set to begin the development of a 7.5 MW solar field in Burundi.

Gigawatt Global and its partners selected Voltalia, the French engineering, procurement and construction company, to build the solar field, which is located on the soft rolling hills on the outskirts of Mubuga village on 11.5 hecters of privately-owned land.  

The field will be using 25,140 Suntech panels and 56 Kaco string inverters and is expected to be interconnected well before the United Nations COP 26, which will be hosted by the UK.

U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)—previously the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)—is supporting the project with political risk insurance and senior debt.

The project is also supported by EEP, Get.Invest, and by the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) to cover relevant studies.

“Bringing clean energy to one of the world’s least developed countries fulfills Gigawatt Global’s mission to be a premier impact platform of choice for renewables in Africa,” says Michael Fichtenberg, Managing Director of Gigawatt Global Burundi SA and the VP of finance and business development for Gigawatt Global Cooperatief. 

“We accomplished this pioneering project together with supporters from across the entire development spectrum, including innovative financial products being deployed for the first time with this project.”

Caecilia Wijgers, Dutch ambassador to Burundi, said: “In our partnership with Burundi, the private sector perspective is key to contribute to sustainable development.”

FMO, the Dutch development bank, is also a partner in the financing, as one of the backers of Inspired Evolution.

The project will fill the power needs of more than 87,000 people and businesses, will provide 300 temporary jobs during construction, and will support up to 50 permanent jobs during the 25-year operational phase.

Gigawatt Global, which inaugurated sub-Sahara Africa’s first utility-scale solar field in 2014 in Rwanda with a high-profile visit of U2’s Bono, kicks off in Burundi a 10-country African solar and wind pipeline for the decade.

The Company is investing in very high-impact green energy projects, with a pipeline of 350 MW, and is currently pursuing a Series A institutional investment round to expand its reach.

Gigawatt Global’s Burundi project, located 10 kilometers from Gitega city, is the largest private sector investment in Burundi’s energy sector in 30 years, and will be the first permanent power station built in that time.

The project will fill the power needs of more than 87,000 people and businesses, will provide 300 temporary jobs during construction, and will support up to 50 permanent jobs during the 25-year operational phase.

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