Rwanda, likely best known for the genocide that took place twenty-one years ago, is walking on the path for a bright future. The biggest solar power plant in East Africa recently opened in the country.
At present, only 18 percent of Rwanda’s population has access to electricity. However, Rwanda’s government has plans to provide electricity to 70 percent of its 11.8 million citizens by June 2018.
Here are some of the features of this power plant:
- This project is the fastest solar power project on the continent. The entire project, with the capacity of 8.5 megawatts (MW), went from contract signing to construction to connection in just one year.
- The solar plant generates about seven percent of the total power supply in Rwanda.
- This Africa-shaped solar field has about 28,360 solar panels that have been placed in neat rows above wild grass of the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village.
- In its first year, this solar plant is providing power to more than 15,000 homes, in a country where just 18 percent of the population has access to electricity.
- The solar panels are computer-controlled. From dawn until dusk, the panels tilt to track the sun from east to west, improving efficiency by 20% compared to stationary panels.
- 350 local jobs have been created by this project.