JERUSALEM (JTA) — The first utility-scale solar power field in East Africa, built on land belonging to a Jewish-sponsored youth village in Rwanda, was launched.
The nearly $24 million project was financed and constructed by Gigawatt Global.
Yosef Abramowitz, Gigawatt president, also is CEO of Energiya Global Capital, Gigawatt’s Israeli affiliate, which provided seed money and strategic assistance for the project.
The Rwanda field — constructed in the shape of the African continent — was built on land belonging to the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village. The village for orphans from the 1994 Rwandan genocide and after was founded by the late Anne Heyman, who died a year ago in a horse-riding accident.
The village is leasing land to house the solar facility, the fees from which will help pay for a portion of the village’s charitable expenses. Gigawatt Global also will be providing training on solar power to students of the Liquidnet High School on the grounds of the Youth Village.
The solar field will feed electricity into the national grid under a 25-year power purchase agreement with the Rwanda Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority.
“Our project proves the viability of financing and building large-scale solar fields in sub-Saharan Africa, and we hope that this solar field serves as a catalyst for many more sustainable energy projects in the region,” Chaim Motzen, Gigawatt Global co-founder and managing director, said in a statement.