POWER AFRICA IN RWANDA

Speeches Shim

 

Power Africa has supported the development of 180 megawatts (MW) of electricity generation projects in Rwanda. In addition, various firms have received U.S. Embassy support to move transactions forward. The page below gives an overview of the energy sector in Rwanda, explains Power Africa's involvement and lists Power Africa’s financially closed transactions in the country, some of which are already online and generating critical electricity supply for the people of Rwanda.

An aerial view of a very large solar plant in Rwanda
This solar field at the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda embraces a big range of causes: it helps the long-term sustainability of the Village, it is good for the environment, it generates local employment and education and it empowers the country with access to electricity - which in itself results in a myriad of benefits for the Rwandan population. Located on rolling green hills, east of Kigali, this $23 million project is the first utility-scale, grid-connected, commercial solar field in East Africa
Sameer Halai

 

RWANDA ENERGY SECTOR OVERVIEW


Population: 12.6 million | GDP (1): $10.12 billion

The Government of Rwanda is striving to transition from a developing country to a middle-income country by 2035. To achieve this goal, the government is targeting 100% electricity access by 2024 (52% on-grid, 48% off-grid). Rwanda is endowed with natural energy resources including hydro, solar, and methane gas in Lake Kivu in the west of the country. It currently has 225 MW of installed generation capacity and 53% of the country has access to electricity. Issues of affordability of off-grid solutions persist, but the Government of Rwanda, development partners and the private sector are working together to address this challenge. 

GENERATION CAPACITY

  • Total Installed Capacity (2): 210 MW

    • Hydro: 103 MW
    • Solar: 9 MW
    • Bio: 1 MW
    • Other/Diesel/Methane/Peat: 97 MW

Power Africa new MW to date at financial close: 180 MW

CONNECTIONS

  • Current Access Rate (3): 49%
    • Urban: 76%
    • Rural: 44%
  • Power Africa new connections: 272,623
 

 

POWER AFRICA SUCCESS STORIES IN RWANDA


USAID/Power Africa Announces $2.6 Million in Healthcare Electrification Grants to Solar Energy Companies in Nine Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa

Through this Power Africa grant, OffGridBox installed modular solar energy systems to power six off-grid healthcare facilities in Rwanda’s Nyamagabe, Kayonza, Nyagatare, and Muhanga districts – the solution providing power and clean drinking water to Gasagara healthcare center was inaugurated on March 25, 2021.

LEARN MORE on our blog and VIEW the gallery below

POWER AFRICA FINANCIALLY CLOSED TRANSACTIONS IN RWANDA


Updated: October 21, 2019

Agahozo-Shalom (Solar PV – 8.5 MW)

Financial Close Date: 02/17/2014
Commercial Operations Date:12/31/2014
Estimated Project Cost: $23.7M
Overview: Power Africa partner Gigawatt Global developed this 8.5 MW solar PV power plant. A consortium including Norfund and Scatec Solar financed the solar plant with support from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) through the Africa Clean Energy Financing facility (ACEF). At the time of commissioning, the solar project was East Africa’s first utility-scale solar project to go online.


HQ Peat Power – Akanyaru (Biomass – 80 MW)

Financial Close Date: 11/01/2016
Commercial Operations Date: December 2019 for the first unit (40 MW)
Estimated Project Cost: $350M
Overview: HQ Power, an 80 MW peat project, is located at Kabumbwe, alongside the Akanyaru river and near the border with Burundi. The $350 million project shareholders are Hakan and Power Africa partners Themis and Quantum Power. Funders are the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation Ltd. (Finnfund), Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank), Development Bank of Rwanda and the African Export Import Bank. Power Africa private sector partners Africa Finance Group is the mandated lead arranger for the senior debt, along with the East and Southern Africa Trade Bank.


Keya (Hydropower – 2.2 MW)

Financial Close Date: 02/06/2017
Commercial Operation Date: 12/2018
Estimated Project Cost: $3.1M
Overview: This brownfield run-of-river hydro power project is currently operated and maintained by Energicotel Ltd. under a 25-year concession from the Government of Rwanda. Power Africa provided support to optimize operations and assisted with commercial agreements and other transaction advisory services.


Rwanda Thermal Project (HFO – 30 MW)

Financial Close Date: 03/31/2017
Commercial Operation Date: 06/30/2017
Estimated Project Cost: $30M
Overview: SoEnergy, a U.S.-based firm and Power Africa partner, formed a joint venture with a Rwandan fuel supplier to build, own, and operate rental LFO thermal units totaling 30 MW in Kigali. Power Africa provided an initial draft of the power purchase agreement (PPA), with additional support provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of State.


Kigali Genocide Memorial (Solar PV – 0.02 MW)

Financial Close Date: 07/31/2016
Commercial Operations Date: 07/31/2016
Estimated Project Cost: $3.1M
Overview: Power Africa supported U.S. company and private sector partner CrossBoundary Energy, a frontier market investment fund, in financing the 20.5 kWp, rooftop PV solar installation serving the Kigali Genocide Memorial. Support was provided through a USAID Global Development Alliance Investment, serving as a first-loss tranche of capital to catalyze further private investment, pooling capital for investment for generating assets that serve captive commercial enterprises. The memorial, operated by the Aegis Trust, is a deeply important national institution in Rwanda and one of the most visited sites in the country. CrossBoundary Energy’s local partner Centennial Generating Co developed the solar project opportunity and provides ongoing maintenance.


Rusumo Hydropower Project (Hydropower – 80 MW)

Financial Close Date: 11/27/2013
Estimated Commercial Operations Date: April 2020
Estimated Project Cost: $340M
This is a hydropower project under development by the Governments of Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania through the jointly owned Rusumo Power Company (RPCL) and will generate 80 MW of power. Located on the border of Rwanda and Tanzania on the Kagera River, power production facilities are on the southern bank in Tanzania, while the substation is located on the northern bank in Rwanda. There are two main components: an 80 MW hydropower generation plant as well as transmission lines and substations. As such, construction will commence in two phases. The first phase will involve the construction of the power plant and the second will entail installation of high voltage transmission lines.


Rwaza I (Hydropower – 2.6 MW)

Financial Close Date: 01/23/2017
Commercial Operations Date: 01/31/2018
Estimated Project Cost: $15M
Overview: This 2.6 MW run-of-river hydropower plant is located in the Rwaza Sector on the Mukungwa River, in Rwanda’s Musanze District. The U.S. firm DC HydroPower identified and developed the project through the feasibility stage and the signing of a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Rwanda Energy Group. Power Africa, through U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) conducted a feasibility study. Power Africa partner ResponsAbility, along with Frontier Energy, joined DC HydroPower as investment partners during the final stages of development.


Sources

  1. https://data.worldbank.org/country/rwanda 
  2. https://www.africa-energy.com/database/datatool
  3. https://www.iea.org/reports/sdg7-data-and-projections/access-to-electricity

Last updated: January 27, 2022

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