Musanze, Rwanda– On June 21st, 2017, the Minister of Infrastructure James Musoni, U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda Erica Barks-Ruggles, German Ambassador to Rwanda Dr. Peter Woeste and other project partners visited and celebrated the construction of Rwaza hydropower project in Northern Rwanda.
When completed, the hydropower plant will provide reliable, affordable electricity into the Rwandan national grid. The project will produce approximately 2.6MW at this phase. At completion of all its phase, the project contributes to stabilizing the local grid—improving power supply to local business and industries.
“The Power Plant we are launching today might be small in size, but we have no doubt that even the 2.6 MW to be produced at Rwaza-Muko HydroPower Plant will greatly contribute to our bold vision. This project could not have come at a more opportune time, as we project our energy demand to soar from the current 208 MW installed capacity to a projected 563 MW by 2028.” said Minister Musoni
“American companies are at the forefront of helping Rwanda meet its energy needs and are driving investment in the mini-hydro sector,” said Ambassador Barks-Ruggles. “I am excited about the progress we have made over the past couple of years and the potential for further U.S. investment and engagement through Power Africa initiative to help Rwanda meet its energy needs[JCG1] .”
“Together, we have reached an important milestone in the development and implementation of this this project,” said Chad Bannick, CEO of DC HydroPower. “As developers and investors in the energy sector, we are thankful to be part of Rwanda’s initiative to reduce greenhouse gasses and provide clean, renewable energy to the people of Rwanda.”
The construction of this new hydropower plant directly supports the Rwandan Government’s goal of providing 70 percent of its population with access to electricity by 2018. They also advance the objectives of Power Africa (U.S. Government-led electricity access initiative) and KfW (Germany’s government-owned development bank) in addressing one of the most pressing challenges to sustainable economic growth and development in sub-Saharan Africa – access to reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity.
Rwaza I is a 2.6MW run-of-the-river hydropower plant located in the Rwaza Sector on the Mukungwa River, in Musanze District. DC HydroPower (Rwanda) identified and developed the project through the Feasibility Stage and signing of the PPA with the Rwanda Energy Group. Frontier Energy (Denmark) and ResponsAbility Renewable Energy Holding joined DC Hydropower as investment partners during the final stages of development.
Construction of the plant began in January 2017 and is expected to last 18 months, after which the plant will be operational. Rwaza 1, along with the 4 MW Nyundo hydropower plant, received assistance from U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) —a Power Africa partner agency—during the development phase to complete the feasibility study. The Nyundo project is being developed by Amahoro Energy, a Rwandan company formed to electrify the Shyira Hospital, which serves more than 300,000 people, and is expected to commence construction on October 2017 and reach commercial operations by December 2018.
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