February 11, 2015
n one year the sun produces enough energy to power the world’s need for 10,000 years.
East Africa’s first grid-connected and utility-scale solar field is now online. Agahozo-Shalom was proud to host the ceremonial ribbon-cutting for Gigawatt Global’s solar field on Thursday February 5th. While environmentally sustainable, this innovation increases Rwanda’s overall energy output by 6 percent. The solar field has 28,360 panels, which will bring power to 15,000 homes! An international achievement, people from at least eight different countries worked together towards the fruition of this solar field. The celebration brought US Ambassador Erica J. Barks-Ruggles and Rwanda’s Minister of Infrastructure James Musoni to the Village. The Mayor of Rwamagana district and Governor of the Eastern province also attended to support the local affair.
Agahozo-Shalom leased part of our 144-acres of land to Gigawatt Global in 2014 to begin constructing the solar field, and in less than 12 months, the project was complete. The rental income supports the continued operation of the Village, while also ensuring that our land is being used for the betterment of Rwanda. In Rwanda, forty percent of energy is sourced from diesel, however this solar field offers insight into an ecological and pioneering alternative. In addition, 80 percent of the workforce (350 personnel) is local, stimulating the region’s economy and contributing to overall economic development in Rwanda. More personally to Agahozo-Shalom, the proximity of the solar field allows our kids to gain first-hand knowledge about engineering and solar PV technology. Before the big event, science center ventured to the solar field, where Gigawatt Global President Yosef Abramowitz gave them a personal tour. Agahozo-Shalom is pleased to be partnering with socially conscious organizations that are at the forefront of developing sustainable energy alternatives.
Submitted by Shelby Sullivan, 2015 Village Fellow
Courtesy of Gigawatt Global
News articles about the solar field:
Sun Rises on Utility PV in Rwanda from reNews
Israelis to Dedicate Largest Solar Field in East Africa from The Times of Israel
In Rwanda, Israelis and Americans Launch East Africa's First Commercial Solar Field from the Jerusalem Times
Rwanda in Biggest Solar Park Venture from East African Business Week
Gigawatt Global Develops $23.7M Solar Farm for Rwanda from Renewable Energy Magazine
Gigawatt Global Turns on the Lights in Rwanda from Israel21c