Manufacturing giant BYD recently announced that it has come to an agreement with the Norwegian company Scatec Solar to provide the modules for a large-scale solar PV power plant being developed in Rwanda. The project will be the first large-scale solar PV project in the African nation.
The 8.5 MW project being built by Scatec Solar will be grid-connected — the company has already secured a 25-year power purchase agreement with the Rwanda Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority.
The announcement isn’t much of a surprise, as Scatec Solar and BYD have a history of collaboration — having previously worked together on the development of the 75 MW Kalkbult project in South Africa.
The new project is going to be built at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village — about 60km from the Rwandan capital of Kigale.
The press release from BYD provides more:
Located about 60 kilometers from the Rwandan capital of Kigale, the plant will be built on land belonging to the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV). The plant is to be constructed by Norway’s Scatec Solar, with an expected completion mid-summer 2014. It is estimated that once complete, the plant will generate 16 million kilowatt-hours of clean solar energy each year. The Rwanda Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) has signed a 25-year purchase agreement for energy from the plant. BYD is actively participating in the rapid development of the global PV market and has supplied Scatec Solar with modules since 2012 including a 75 megawatt project in Kalkbult, South Africa.
Being one of Africa’s strongest emerging markets, Rwanda is aiming to increase the country’s generation capacity so that more than 50% of the population will have access to electricity by 2017. This means increasing current capacity from 110 MW to 560 MW.
Speaking on the deal, Tom Zhao, the General Manager of BYD’s Solar Energy division, stated: “BYD is seeking to expand business throughout Africa which has the world’s best solar resources.”
Image Credit: BYD