Featured photo: Bringing clean energy to Rwanda
Rwandan workers inspect solar panels at Gigawatt Global’s 8.5 megawatt solar facility east of Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, shortly before the solar field’s opening ceremony in February 2014. The clean power project is East Africa’s first grid-connected, utility-scale solar energy facility and represents a full 6% contribution to the entire country’s power generation capacity.
OPIC supported the Gigawatt Global project in its early stages, which helped the project progress to receive financing from both private lenders and international development finance institutions
Gigawatt Global’s solar facility is the first project to come online under the U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Finance (ACEF) program, an integral part of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative. ACEF is funded by the U.S. State Department and the President’s Global Climate Change Initiative and carried out OPIC and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.
The land leased for placement of the photovoltaic panels benefits Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, a residential community that is home to youth orphaned during or after the Rwandan genocide. This humanitarian benefit coupled with the clean power contribution helped earn the energy developer a Nobel Peace Prize nomination for their efforts.