BYD Company Ltd has just shipped Rwanda’s first PV solar energy system. The 8.58 MW plant is expected to increase Rwanda’s total electrical generation by at least 8%, and it’s all renewable clean energy.
The project is part of a plan to increase Rwanda’s renewable energy capacity by 500% in the immediate future. Located about 60 kilometers from the Rwandan capital of Kigale, the plant will be built on land belonging to the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV). The plant is to be constructed by Norway’s Scatec Solar, with an expected completion mid-summer 2014. It is estimated that once complete, the plant will generate 16 million kWh of clean solar energy each year.
The Rwanda Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) has signed a 25-year purchase agreement for energy from the plant. BYD is actively participating in the rapid development of the global PV market and has supplied Scatec Solar with modules since 2012 including a 75 MW project in Kalkbult, South Africa. Being one of Africa’s strongest emerging markets, Rwanda is aiming to increase the country’s generation capacity so that more than 50% of the population will have access to electricity by 2017. This means increasing current capacity from 110MW to 560MW. Tom Zhao, General Manager of BYD’s Solar Energy division, said “BYD is seeking to expand business throughout Africa which has the world’s best solar resources.”