Gigawatt Global, an American owned Dutch company founded by Chaim Motzen, developing solar power, has succeeded in financing, constructing and interconnecting a $23.7 million solar energy plant in Rwanda.
The Rwandan project is built on land owned by the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, whose mission is to care for Rwanda’s most vulnerable children orphaned before and after the Rwandan genocide. 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 will also be providing training on solar power to students of the Liquidnet High School on the grounds of the Youth Village.
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A ribbon cutting ceremony to dedicate the plant will be held on Thursday at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village for the 8.5 Megawatt (MW) solar field.
The Rwanda field – constructed in the shape of the African continent – brought together an international consortium of financing partners.
Chaim Motzen, Gigawatt Global Co-Founder and Managing Director, and the main force behind the development of the project stated, “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.” He continued, “The speed with which this project was completed is a tribute to the strength of the Rwandan government’s institutions and their laser-focus on increasing Rwanda’s generation capacity as well as to the nimbleness of our team and partners which spanned eight countries.”
“Anne Heyman, our Founder of blessed memory, held to a vision in which the Village practiced tikkun olam, the Jewish teaching to help heal the world. In addition to our work with Rwanda’s most vulnerable children, we’re now helping to improve the lives of thousands of people through sustainable electricity generation, ” said Laurie Toll Franz, ASYV’s Board Chair.
Yosef Abramowitz, President of Gigawatt Global, believes that “this utility-scale solar field at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village is a symbol of hope for sub-Saharan Africa’s tens of millions of orphans and 600 million people without power, ushering in a new era of impact investing that we will hopefully be replicating throughout Africa.”
Gigawatt Global’s 8.5 MW solar field in Rwanda is the first utility-scale project to reach financial close and come online under the Africa Clean Energy Finance (ACEF) program, which is now an integral part of the Power Africa Initiative.